Courtney Ann Kramer, Darya S. Nesterova, Junjia Zhu, Monali Vasekar, Jolene Collins, Cristina Truica, Aditya Joshi, Michael Hayes, Erika F. H. Saunders, Joseph J. Drabick and Monika Joshi
Shu Fen Wong, Richard Norman, Trisha Lynette Dunning, David Michael Ashley, Mustafa Khasraw, Theresa Margaret Hayes, Ian Collins and Paula Kate Lorgelly
Background: This study sought to understand the preferences of patients with cancer and the trade-offs between appointment attributes using discrete choice experiment (DCE). Methods and Study Design: Patients with cancer at 3 hospitals completed a self-administered DCE. Each scenario described 6 attributes: expertise of health care professionals (HCPs), familiarity of doctors with patients' medical history, waiting time, accompaniment by family/friends, travel time, and out-of-pocket costs. Patient preferences were estimated using logistic regression. Willingness to pay (WTP) estimates were derived from regression coefficients. Results: Of 512 patients contacted, 185 returned the questionnaire. The mean age was 61 years, and 60% of respondents were female. The mean time since cancer diagnosis was 34 months, 90% had received treatment; and 61% had early-stage disease. The most important attributes were expertise and familiarity of doctors with patients' medical history; distance traveled was least likely to influence patient preferences. The WTP analysis estimated that patients were willing to pay $680 (95% CI, 470–891) for an appointment with a specialist, $571 (95% CI, 388–754) for doctors familiar with their history, $422 (95% CI, 262–582) for shorter waiting times, $399 (95% CI, 249–549) to be accompanied by family/friends, and $301 (95% CI, 162–441) for shorter traveling times. Male patients had a stronger preference for accompaniment by family/friends. The expertise of HCP was the most important attribute for patients regardless of geographic remoteness. Conclusions: Our study can assist the development of patient-centered health care models that improve patient access to experienced HCPs, support the role of primary care providers during the cancer journey, and educate patients about the roles of non-oncology HCPs to cope with increasing demand for cancer care.