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A discrete choice experiment evaluation of patients' preferences for different risk, benefit, and delivery attributes of insulin therapy for diabetes management

Authors Guimaraes C, Marra C, Gill S, Simpson S, Meneilly GS, Queiroz RH, Lynd LD

Published 8 December 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 433—440


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Camila Guimarães2, Carlo A Marra1, Sabrina Gill1, Scot Simpson3, Graydon Meneilly1, Regina HC Queiroz2, Larry D Lynd1
1University of British Columbia, Canada; 2University of São Paulo, Brazil; 3University of Alberta, Canada

Objective: To evaluate patients' preferences for various attributes of insulin treatment, including route of insulin delivery.
Methods: We used a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to quantify patients' preferences. The attributes (and levels) included in the DCE questionnaire were: glucose control, frequency of hypoglycemic events, weight gain, route of administration for the long-acting and the short-acting insulin, and out-of-pocket cost. Data were analyzed using conditional logit regression and segmented models were also developed to evaluate differences in preferences between subgroups.
Results: Two hundred and seventy-four questionnaires were completed. The mean age (SD) of participants was 56.7 (12.9) years. Forty-nine percent of participants were insulin users, and 17% had type 1 diabetes. Overall, patients' ideal insulin treatment would provide better glucose control, result in fewer adverse reactions, have the lowest cost, and be administered orally. Overall, there was a strong positive preference for better glucose control relative to the other attributes. Segmented analyses by insulin use and type of diabetes suggest that there may be an important psychosocial barrier to initiating insulin therapy but that patients tend to adjust to subcutaneous administration once they initiate therapy.
Conclusions: This study illustrates the importance that patients with diabetes place on glucose control and how preferences for insulin therapy differ between subgroups. Specifically, efforts need to be made to overcome the psychosocial barriers to initiating insulin therapy which may lead to improved control through improved treatment acceptance and ultimately improve patients' quality of life and reduce the economic burden of the disease.

Keywords: insulin therapy, patients' preferences, diabetes mellitus, discrete choice experiment (DCE)

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