Subglottic stenosis can be addressed with several different surgical techniques, but patient preferences for these treatment modalities are poorly understood. Economic methods are increasingly being used to understand how patients make decisions. The objective of this pilot study was to assess preferences in subglottic stenosis treatment using patient-centric stated preference techniques.Study Design
Discrete choice experiment (DCE).Setting
Academic research facility.Subjects and Methods
A computer-based DCE was administered in a monitored setting to volunteers from the general population. Signs and symptoms of subglottic stenosis were described, and participants were asked to imagine they had subglottic stenosis. Hypothetical treatments were offered, with 5 systematically varied attributes: need for external incision, length of hospital stay, postoperative voice quality, likelihood of repeat procedures, and risk of complication. A conditional logistic model was used to assess the relative attribute importance.Results
In total, 162 participants were included. Attributes with the greatest impact on decision making included potential need for repeat procedures (importance 30.2%; P < .001), amount of operative risk (importance 28.1%; P < .001), and postoperative voice quality (importance 27.7%; P < .001), whereas presence of incision (importance 5.0%; P = .001) was less important, and hospital stay was not (importance 9.0%; P = .089). Based on aggregate responses for these attributes, the model demonstrated that most participants (80.4%) would prefer endoscopic surgery for subglottic stenosis as opposed to open tracheal resection (19.6%).Conclusion
In this pilot population, most participants preferred voice-sparing, low-risk procedures as treatment for subglottic stenosis, consistent with an endoscopic approach, even if multiple procedures were required.