Patients' Preferences in Cancer Treatment: Review of Discrete Choice Experiments


This study aimed to systematically review discrete choice experiments (DCEs) about patients’ preferences for cancer treatment and assessed the relative importance of outcome, process and cost attributes.  A systematic literature review was conducted using PubMed and EMBASE to identify all DCEs investigating patients’ preferences for cancer treatment between January 2010 and April 2016. Attributes were classified into outcome, process and cost attributes, and their relative importance was assessed.

A total of 28 DCEs were identified. More than half of the studies (56%) received an aggregate score lower than 4 on the PREFS (Purpose, Respondents, Explanation, Findings, Significance) 5-point scale. Most attributes were related to outcome (70%), followed by process (25%) and cost (5%). Outcome attributes were most often significant (81%), followed by process (73%) and cost (67%). The relative importance of outcome attributes was ranked highest in 82% of the cases where it was included, followed by cost (43%) and process (12%).

This systematic review suggests that attributes related to cancer treatment outcomes are the most important for patients. Process and cost attributes were less often included in studies but were still (but less) important to patients in most studies. Clinicians and decision makers should be aware that attribute importance might be influenced by level selection for that attribute.



Bien DR, Danner M, Vennedey V et al. Patients’ Preferences for Outcome, Process and Cost Attributes in Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Review of Discrete Choice Experiments. The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research 2017; 10 (5): 553-565.