This pilot study was designed to investigate the attitudes of elderly patients regarding the choice of drugs for the treatment of hypertension.
A questionnaire was administered to a sample of elderly patients receiving antihypertensive therapy regarding effectiveness, adverse effects, cost and convenience. Forced choices were used in order to reflect practice realities.
44 patients, mean age 75.2 years, rated effectiveness and adverse effects more important than cost and convenience. Choices regarding adverse effect risk were slightly influenced by costs of the drugs and insurance status of the patients. Choices regarding convenience were heavily influenced by financial considerations.
Our study indicates that elderly patients are most concerned about effectiveness and safety, and express a willingness to pay more for these qualities in their antihypertensive drugs.