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Importance of hemodialysis-related outcomes: comparison of ratings by a self-help group, clinicians, and health technology assessment authors with those by a large reference group of patients

Authors Janssen IM, Scheibler F, Gerhardus A

Received 14 September 2016

Accepted for publication 3 November 2016

Published 13 December 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2491—2500


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Inger M Janssen,1 Fueloep Scheibler,2 Ansgar Gerhardus3,4

1Department of Epidemiology and International Public Health, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, 2Department of Non-Drug Interventions, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Cologne, 3Department for Health Services Research, Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research, University of Bremen, 4Health Sciences Bremen, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Background: The selection of important outcomes is a crucial decision for clinical research and health technology assessment (HTA), and there is ongoing debate about which stakeholders should be involved. Hemodialysis is a complex treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and affects many outcomes. Apart from obvious outcomes, such as mortality, morbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), others such as, concerning daily living or health care provision, may also be important. The aim of our study was to analyze to what extent the preferences for patient-relevant outcomes differed between various stakeholders. We compared preferences of stakeholders normally or occasionally involved in outcome prioritization (patients from a self-help group, clinicians and HTA authors) with those of a large reference group of patients.
Participants and methods: The reference group consisted of 4,518 CKD patients investigated previously. We additionally recruited CKD patients via a regional self-help group, nephrologists via an online search and HTA authors via an expert database or personal contacts. All groups assessed the relative importance of the 23 outcomes by means of a discrete visual analog scale. We used descriptive statistics to rank outcomes and compare the results between groups.
Results: We received completed questionnaires from 49 self-help group patients, 19 nephrologists and 18 HTA authors. Only the following 3 outcomes were ranked within the top 7 outcomes by all 4 groups: safety, HRQoL and emotional state. The ratings by the self-help group were generally more concordant with the reference group ratings than those by nephrologists, while HTA authors showed the least concordance.
Conclusion: Preferences of CKD patients from a self-help group, nephrologists and HTA authors differ to a varying extent from those of a large reference group of patients with CKD. The preferences of all stakeholders should form the basis of a transparent approach so as to generate a valid list of important outcomes.

Keywords: patient preferences, hemodialysis patients, patient-centered outcomes, preference elicitation, rating scale

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