Importance In China, little is known about end-of-life (EOL) care preferences of patients with terminal cancer. Understanding these patients’ treatment preferences is needed to improve patient-centered health care, better inform surrogates and medical staff about patient preferences, and enhance the quality of EOL care.
Objective To examine preferences for EOL care among patients with terminal cancer in China.
Design, Setting, and Participants In this survey study, patients older than 50 years who had terminal cancer were randomly selected from medical records at a single hospital in China. Data on patients’ EOL care preferences were collected by discrete choice experiment (DCE) from August to November 2018 and were analyzed from October 2020 to March 2021.
Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome was patient preferences in EOL care, derived using a mixed logit model. Each DCE scenario described 6 attributes: hospitalization days, life extension, quality of life, adverse treatment events, place-of-death preference, and out-of-pocket costs. The marginal willingness to pay (WTP) in US dollars was estimated from regression coefficients.
Results Of 188 patients selected for the survey, 183 participated (97.3%). Among the respondents, the mean [SD] age was 61 [8.4] years, and 128 (69.8%) were male. Patients’ preferences for moderate increase in survival time, better quality of life, death at home, and lower out-of-pocket costs were significantly associated with their choices between treatment models. Extending life by 10 months (vs 4 months: β, 1.63; 95% CI, 0.81-2.44) and a better quality of life (very good vs poor: β, 1.79; 95% CI, 0.96-2.62) were the most important attributes to patients. The uptake rate for a treatment scenario increased by 61.6% when the quality of life improved from poor to very good, and when life extension increased from 4 months to 10, the uptake rate increased by 57.2%. The uptake increased by 12.5% when the place of death changed from hospital to home. However, it decreased by 31.4% when the costs increased to $21 174. The study found a WTP of $38 854 (95% CI, $19 468-$95 096) to improve quality of life from a poor to a very good level, substantially higher than the WTP for a life extension of 6 months ($35 308; 95% CI, $17 745-$80 279) or 1 year ($27 572; 95% CI, $16 389-$58 027) compared with the baseline scenario of a 4-month extension. Patients were willing to pay $8860 (95% CI, $621-$26 474) to die at home rather than in a hospital.
Conclusions and Relevance The findings suggest that in addition to extending life moderately for patients with terminal cancer, improving quality of life during EOL care and supporting home deaths may deserve greater attention. The findings also suggest that physicians and surrogates should ask about patients’ care preferences and better inform them of their choices to improve EOL care outcomes.
Keywords: DISCRETE-CHOICE EXPERIMENT；HEALTH；PLACE；DEATH；WILLINGNESS；CAREGIVERS；QUALITY；COHORT；ADULTS；HOME
原文刊载于：JAMA NETWORK OPEN