The relationship between risk attitude and treatment choice in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

The relationship between risk attitude and treatment choice in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
Posted on February 1, 2010
Authors: Prosser LA, Kuntz KM, Bar-Or A, Weinstein MC
Medical Decision Making 2002 22(6): 506-513  PubmedID: 179261000000   ISSN/ISBN: 0272-989X   DOI: 10.1177/0272989X02238299
Background. Many patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) eligible for beta-interferons or glatiramer acetate have chosen to forgo or discontinue treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate risk attitude as a patient characteristic related to treatment choice for patients with MS. Methods. Sixty-two MS patients completed a survey on treatment history, risk preference, and socioeconomic and clinical variables. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between treatment choice and risk attitude. Risk attitude was measured using a standard gamble question on short-term health outcomes. Results. More risk-seeking patients were less likely to choose treatment compared with more risk-averse patients (P < 0.01). For patients who discontinued treatment, the explanatory variable of significance was severity of side effects (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Risk attitude is a patient characteristic related to treatment initiation in patients with MS. This could be an important factor to consider when identifying optimal treatment decisions for individual patients.