Using psychological instruments to understand patients’ preferences


The interest in patients' preferences has grown in recent years. Regulators, HTA-bodies, payers, the pharmaceutical industry, and patient organizations are asking for patients to be involved in healthcare decision-making. Most of the attention on this topic has focused on how to elicit patients’ preferences, and not so much on why patients form specific preferences and why they take certain kinds of decisions. A new review article from PREFER maps the field.

Researchers from the PREFER project have published a systematic review of the different psychological dimensions and instruments that have been used in studies that measure patients' preferences and health-related decision-making.

In the paper, they identify constructs and instruments that can be used to evaluate patients’ psychological profiles. These profiles could reveal important determinants of a person’s preferences and reasons behind their decisions. According to the authors, the paper provides a starting point for the development of a theoretical framework that can be used to guide the inclusion of psychological dimensions and instruments to measure them studies that are designed to elicit patients’ preferences for different drugs and medical devices.

Russo, S, Jongerius C, Faccio, F, et al., Understanding Patients' Preferences: A Systematic Review of Psychological Instruments Used in Patients' Preference and Decision Studies, Value in Health, Volume 22, Issue 4, April 2019, Pages 491-501.

By Josepine Fernow