Patient preferences for treatment of Achilles tendon pain: Results from a discrete-choice experiment

Kent R. Sweeting, Jennifer A. Whitty, Paul A. Scuffham, Michael J. Yelland

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Discrete-choice experiments are based on the premise that any good or service can be described by its characteristics (or attributes), and the extent to which an individual values a good or service depends on the levels of these characteristics. Little is known about patient preferences for treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain such as Achilles tendinopathy.
Methods: A discrete-choice experiment was conducted in 58 adults with a history of Achilles tendon pain at the conclusion of a three-arm randomized clinical trial. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire consisting of ten hypothetical treatment scenarios and some sociodemographic questions. For each scenario, participants were asked to choose which option they would prefer if seeking treatment for their painful Achilles tendon. A mixed logit model was estimated to quantify subject preferences and marginal willingness to pay for the treatment attributes.
Results: A response rate of 62% was achieved. A significant positive impact on utility was observed for chance of treatment success. A significant negative impact on utility was observed for cost, weeks before exercise can be completed free of pain, chance of side effects (p = 0.06), and injections as a stand-alone treatment. Respondents were willing to pay Australian dollars ($A)238 (95% CI -312, 788) for a 10% increase in the chance of treatment success.
Conclusions: Study participants with Achilles tendon pain who had either participated or expressed an interest in participating in a randomized trial prefer a treatment that costs less, has a greater chance of success, has a shorter duration before being able to exercise free of pain, and has less likelihood of side effects. On average, participants preferred exercises over injections as a stand-alone treatment. Further research is required to confirm the findings in patients outside of the trial setting. Nevertheless, this study contributes to an area that is deficient in research by identifying priorities and marginal willingness to pay for attributes related to Achilles tendinopathy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalThe Patient
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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