Preferences for Cancer Treatments: an Overview of Methods and Applications in Oncology
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This review provides cancer clinicians and researchers with an overview of methods for assessing preferences, with examples and recommendations for their application in oncology. Decisions about cancer treatments involve trade-offs between their relative benefits and harms. An individual’s preference for a cancer treatment reflects their evaluation of the relative benefits and harms in comparison with a given alternative or alternatives. Methods of preference assessment include the ranking or rating scale, standard gamble (SG), time trade-off (TTO), visual analogue scale, discrete choice experiment (DCE), and multi-attribute utility instrument (MAUI). The choice of method depends on the purpose of preference assessment; the ranking or rating scale, SG, TTO, and DCEs are best suited to clinicaldecisions, whereas MAUIs are best suited to health policy decisions. Knowledge of patients’ preferences for cancer treatments can better inform clinical decisions about patient management by enabling the tailoring of decisions to individual patients’ values, attitudes, and priorities and health policy decisions through economic evaluations of cancer treatments and their suitability for coverage by health payers.
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