Patients prioritize local recurrence risk over other attributes for surgical treatment of facial melanomas—Results of a stated preference survey and choice-based conjoint analysis

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Abstract

Background

Surgical treatment options for facial melanomas include conventional excision with postoperative margin assessment, Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) with immunostains (MMS-I), and slow MMS. Patient preferences for these surgical options have not been studied.

Objectives

To evaluate patient preferences for surgical treatment of facial melanoma and to determine how patients value the relative importance of different surgical attributes.

Methods

Participants completed a 2-part study consisting of a stated preference survey and a choice-based conjoint analysis experiment.

Results

Patients overwhelmingly (94.3%) rated local recurrence risk as very important and ranked it as the most important attribute of surgical treatment for facial melanoma. Via choice-based conjoint analysis, patients ranked the following surgical attributes from highest to lowest in importance: local recurrence rate, out-of-pocket cost, chance of second surgical visit, timing of reconstruction, travel time, and time in office for the procedure. Consistent with their prioritization of low local recurrence rates, more than 73% of respondents selected MMS-I or slow MMS as their preferred treatment option for a facial melanoma.

Limitations

Data were obtained from a single health system.

Conclusion

Patients prefer surgical treatment options that minimize risk for local recurrence. Logistics for travel and treatment have less influence on patient preferences. Most survey participants chose MMS-I to maximize local cure and convenience of care.

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