Heterogeneous Patient Preferences for Modern Antiretroviral Therapy: Results of a Discrete Choice Experiment



Limited data describe patient preferences for the growing number of antiretroviral therapies (ARTs). We quantified preferences for key characteristics of modern ART deemed relevant to shared decision making.


A discrete choice experiment survey elicited preferences for ART characteristics, including dosing (frequency and number of pills), administration characteristics (pill size and meal requirement), most bothersome side effect (from diarrhea, sleep disturbance, headaches, dizziness/difficulty thinking, depression, or jaundice), and most bothersome long-term effect (from increased risk of heart attacks, bone fractures, renal dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, or hyperglycemia). Between March and August 2017, the discrete choice experiment was fielded to 403 treatment-experienced persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), enrolled from 2 infectious diseases clinics in the southern United States and a national online panel. Participants completed 16 choice tasks, each comparing 3 treatment options. Preferences were analyzed using mixed and latent class logit models.


Most participants were male (68%) and older (interquartile range: 42-58 years), and had substantial treatment experience (interquartile range: 7-21 years). In mixed logit analyses, all attributes were associated with preferences. Side and long-term effects were most important, with evidence of substantial preference heterogeneity. Latent class analysis identified 5 preference classes. For classes 1 (40%), 2 (24%), and 3 (21%), side effects were most important, followed by long-term effects. For class 4 (10%), dosing was most important. Class 5 (4%) was largely indifferent to ART characteristics.


Overall, treatment-experienced persons living with HIV valued minimizing side effects and long-term toxicities over dosing and administration characteristics. Preferences varied widely, highlighting the need to elicit individual patient preferences in models of shared antiretroviral decision making.


Jan Ostermann Axel Mühlbacher Derek S. Brown Dean A. Regier Amy Hobbie Andrew Weinhold Noor Alshareef Caroline Derrick Nathan M. Thielman

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