, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 211–219 | Cite as

Preferences of GPs and Patients for Preventive Osteoporosis Drug Treatment

A Discrete-Choice Experiment
  • Esther W. de Bekker-Grob
  • Marie-Louise Essink-Bot
  • Willem Jan Meerding
  • Bart W. Koes
  • Ewout W. Steyerberg
Original Research Article


Background: Osteoporotic fractures have a serious economic impact on society and on the quality of life of patients. Differences in opinions on the desirability of preventive treatment initiation may hamper the process and outcome of shared decision making between physician and patient.

Objective: To evaluate and compare preferences of GPs and patients for preventive osteoporosis drug treatment.

Methods: Discrete-choice experiment (DCE) involving 34 general practices in the area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Participants included 40 GPs and 120 women aged ≥60 years who participated in a study on osteoporosis case finding. We included any woman aged >60 years, with an over-representation of women with a high fracture risk (n = 60).

Outcomes: (i) The relative weights that GPs and patients place on five treatment attributes of preventive osteoporosis drug treatment: effectiveness, nausea as an adverse effect, total treatment duration, route of drug administration and out-of-pocket costs; and (ii) the determinants of any differences in preferences between GPs and patients.

Results: The response rate was 40/59 (68%) for GPs and 120/181 (66%) for patients. All treatment attributes proved to be important for preferences of GPs and patients. GPs had a significantly less favourable attitude towards preventive osteoporosis drug treatment than patients; they placed significantly higher values on effectiveness of preventive drug treatment and short total preventive treatment duration than patients.

Conclusions: GPs and patients showed different preferences towards preventive osteoporosis drug treatment. Addressing each of these differences may have a positive effect on the process and outcomes of shared decision making regarding preventive treatment initiation.



The authors thank Huibert A.P. Pols, PhD (Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC — University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands), for his helpful advice in designing the discrete-choice experiment and for his comments on this paper. The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) funded this research (grant number: 945-14-010 HTA). The authors declare the independence of researchers from funders. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther W. de Bekker-Grob
    • 1
  • Marie-Louise Essink-Bot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Willem Jan Meerding
    • 1
  • Bart W. Koes
    • 3
  • Ewout W. Steyerberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthErasmus MC — University Medical Centre RotterdamRotterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Social MedicineAcademic Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of General PracticeErasmus MC — University Medical Centre RotterdamRotterdamthe Netherlands

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