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Patients’ preferences for the management of knee injuries: a discrete choice experiment

Stephen Brealey, Ling-Hsian Chuang, Michael Robling, Stirling Bryan, Kerenza Hood




To elicit the preferences in two cohorts of patients with knee injuries who had been referred by their General Practitioner (GP) for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or orthopaedic consultation; or were listed for an arthroscopy.





A discrete choice experiment using a postal questionnaire asked for patients’ preferences for, and trade-offs between, the attributes of waiting time for diagnosis, treatment time, change in knee problem and out of pocket expenses.





Participants with knee injuries who responded to the questionnaire were: 148 of 218 (68%) in the GP cohort; and 95 of 121 (79%) in the arthroscopy cohort. Waiting time for diagnosis and treatment, as well as change in knee problem, were statistically significant important attributes. This applies less to out-of-pocket expenses although patients in the arthroscopy cohort were significantly more willing to pay extra for their treatment. There were no significant interactions between employment status and cost. For patient-related quality of

life, attributes for choosing a shorter time to diagnosis or treatment were statistically significant or borderline.





Patients with knee injuries find shorter waiting time for diagnosis and treatment to be important as well as improvements in their knee problem. Out-of-pocket expenses were less important, except for patients waiting for an arthroscopy who were willing to pay extra.

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