Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients’ Disease-Related Preferences

A Study Using Conjoint Analysis
  • Giovanni PisaEmail author
  • Siegfried Freytag
  • Rainer Schandry
Original Research Article



In the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), knowledge of disease attributes and preferences that are important to patients is crucial. This knowledge may support drug development and optimization of COPD management strategies.


To assess patient preferences in COPD and to use the conjoint methodology in order to propose a self-assessment tool based on patients’ preferences gained from this conjoint analysis. This tool might then be used in future observational study settings.


A two-step procedure was applied: an initial qualitative research module consisting of interviews with eight COPD patients served to assess COPD patients’ health state in-depth, their attitudes towards COPD and their information sources regarding the disease, symptomatology, unmet needs, and their preferences for future COPD medications. In the main quantitative research part of the study, 300 patients (with an average age of 55 years) from across Germany suffering from COPD (n = 225 with stage II and n = 75 with stage III COPD) participated. Each participant was presented with 15 different scenarios during the conjoint exercise. Additionally, the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) had to be completed and attitudes towards COPD were assessed.


According to the participants, the three COPD attributes of the highest relative importance were dyspnea, performance capability, and sleep quality. Frequency of administration of the medication, onset of medication, and emotional state due to COPD base medication played only a minor role. COPD symptoms were reported to have the highest impact on quality of life, according to the CCQ.


Our study proposes an alternative utility-based approach of a self-reported health state concept, utilizing the fact that patients with moderate to severe COPD would trade, e.g., ease of administration and onset of medication for relief from dyspnea.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patient Attribute Level Conjoint Analysis Performance Capability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Novartis Pharma GmbH funded the study and provided financial support for a publication for academic purposes. The authors thank Marion Schwankl for working tirelessly on the project management and for providing organizational support.

Conflicts of Interest

GP has received financial support from Novartis Pharma GmbH for study conception, travel to meetings for the study, and the preparation and review of the manuscript. GP and SF are employed by Kantar Health GmbH, which conducted the study, the analysis, and the manuscript preparation on behalf of Novartis Pharma GmbH. RS received financial support from Novartis Pharma GmbH for the literature search and manuscript preparation.

Author Contributions

GP organized the data collection. GP and SF designed the study and performed the statistical analyses. All three authors contributed to the interpretation of the data, the preparation of the manuscript, and the critical revisions of the manuscript. The guarantor for the overall content is GP.

Supplementary material

40271_2013_7_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (261 kb)
Online Resource 1 (PDF 261 kb)
40271_2013_7_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (254 kb)
Online Resource 2 (PDF 254 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Pisa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Siegfried Freytag
    • 1
  • Rainer Schandry
    • 2
  1. 1.Kantar HealthMunichGermany
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentLudwig-Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany

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