This review investigates whether the development and implementation of treatment satisfaction instruments during a product's lifecycle are informed by their purpose.
A basic literature review was performed between 2000 and 2010 using electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO®, and EMBASE) and the keywords ‘satisfaction’ and ‘questionnaire’ and ‘medication’ or ‘drug’. Relevant articles were reviewed to extract the following information: type of study; study objectives; treatment satisfaction instrument used; clinical condition/indication; purpose of instrument; development of instrument; association of satisfaction with other endpoint measures; and main results and conclusions.
Of 875 abstracts, 80 articles were further considered. Treatment satisfaction instruments were most commonly used in observational studies and interventional clinical trials. The review indicated similarities regarding the development and validation of satisfaction instruments, such as using patient input to derive the items and exploring classical measurement properties specific to the target population.
Although some differences were apparent between instruments intended for use in clinical trials and clinical practice (e.g. the approaches used to enable the interpretation of satisfaction scores), the specificities of the implementation of treatment satisfaction during a product's lifecycle were rarely considered.
By ‘keeping the end in mind’, data from treatment satisfaction instruments can help at three key stages: (i) product access to market: generating evidence as part of an overall value proposition to facilitate product reimbursement at a national level; (ii) market access to product: making the product available at a local level (e.g. local hospital formularies); and (iii) clinical practice: enhancing market penetration and product expansion after launch, and demonstrating value for prescribers. Furthermore, the development, validation, and interpretation of scores from treatment satisfaction instruments should be sensitive to the intended purpose.
By considering the stage in the product lifecycle when an instrument is to be used, treatment satisfaction instruments can be developed with the specific research purpose and target audience in mind – whether it be patients, payers, or prescribers. In the future, treatment satisfaction instruments will become increasingly important for informing decisions at the individual level, giving patients a voice towards their overall management and care, and enhancing the relationship between doctor and patient.