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What Matters to Potential Patients in Chemotherapy Service Delivery? A Discrete Choice Experiment



Designing and funding chemotherapy care to meet patient expectations is challenging. Issues including convenience, outcomes, cost, and continuity of care are all potentially important and the appropriate trade-off between them is not clear. Regions with significant geographic spread and concentration of care in metropolitan areas pose a particular problem as ensuring low-cost convenient care is potentially difficult. However, the relative value of different aspects of chemotherapy are as yet unknown. The objective of this work is to quantify the relative value of different aspects of chemotherapy service delivery in an older Australian general population sample.


A discrete choice experiment was administered in an older Australian general population sample without cancer. The survey approach asks a series of hypothetical choice tasks and allows estimation of the relative value of different aspects of care. Analysis considered the average respondent, and then also explored the level of preference divergence across the population.


One thousand and sixty-two individuals provided data and were included in the analysis. There was a strong population preference for home-based chemotherapy, for follow-up by a specialist, for psycho-social support, and for low cost care.


These strong population preferences should be considered when designing chemotherapy care. This poses a significant challenge, both logistically and financially. However, this information can help policy makers identify the components of good value care.

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Fig. 1

Data Availability Statement

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to constraints imposed in the Ethics process but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request subject to approval from an appropriate HREC.


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We acknowledge funding for the study fieldwork from the Cancer Council of Western Australia. We also acknowledge the vital input of our Consumer Reference Group in this work.

Author information




RN initiated the project, co-developed the protocol, led on data collection and analysis, and drafted the manuscript. MA, AH, IL and SR co-developed the protocol, assisted with interpretation of findings, and provided comments and other input on the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Richard Norman.

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Norman, R., Anstey, M., Hasani, A. et al. What Matters to Potential Patients in Chemotherapy Service Delivery? A Discrete Choice Experiment. Appl Health Econ Health Policy 18, 589–596 (2020).

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