Background: Patients with severe emphysema have limited treatment options. Little is known about patients' willingness to accept risks for new treatments that offer meaningful benefits. Methods: We determined treatment preferences of patients with severe emphysema using a web-based discrete-choice experiment survey. Respondents answered 9 questions that offered choices between 2 hypothetical interventional treatments or continuing current medical management. Variations in 5 attributes defined the 2 interventional treatments: improvement in ability to breathe and carry out day-to-day activities, frequency of hospitalized exacerbations, treatment type, risk of pneumothorax within 30 days of procedure, and risk of death within 3 months. Respondents were recruited through the COPD Foundation's COPD Patient-Powered Research Network and had a self-reported emphysema diagnosis and 2+ score on the modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale. The relative importance of the attributes and the percentage of respondents who would select different treatment options was modeled using random-parameters logit. Results: Among 294 respondents, 51% always chose an interventional treatment option, while 19% always selected continued medical management. The most important change on average was moving from continued medical management (with no improvement in breathlessness) to an interventional treatment with improvement in breathlessness. The model predicted 71% of respondents would select a treatment option similar to removable endobronchial valve implants, 6% would select lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), and 23% continued medical management. Conclusion: Patients with severe emphysema perceive that a procedure with risks and benefits similar to the Zephyr® endobronchial valve implants is desirable over continued medical management or LVRS.
Patient preferences for endobronchial valve treatment of severe emphysema