Oncologist Preferences for Health States Associated with the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Background: For advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, oncologists are faced with multiple treatment options that differ in terms of possible clinical and patient-reported outcomes. Objective: To explore oncologists' preferences for hypothetical outcome scenarios (i.e. health states) resulting from various treatment options. Methods: Six hypothetical health states reflecting varying levels of toxicity, treatment efficacy and emotional well-being were developed representing advanced ovarian cancer treatment. During face-to-face interviews, oncologists provided their relative preferences for these health states using a visual analogue scale and Standard Gamble exercise. Results: The 34 participating oncologists consistently preferred health states reflecting high treatment efficacy over low efficacy for patients with newly diagnosed disease, regardless of toxicity or emotional well-being. In the setting of recurrent disease, physicians preferred a heath state only if it reflected both high efficacy and positive emotional well-being. Conclusions: These data suggest that oncologists may choose treatments that maximize clinical efficacy only when not associated with severe toxicities or low emotional well-being unless associated with a large improvement in efficacy. Physicians may prefer a more toxic chemotherapy regimen that improves survival, and are more willing to compromise emotional well-being for a large survival advantage in the setting of newly diagnosed disease. Slight improvements in clinical efficacy may not be acceptable to oncologists unless associated with higher emotional well-being for the patient.
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