Comparison of preferences of healthcare professionals and MS patients for attributes of disease-modifying drugs: A best-worst scaling

Ingrid E. H. Kremer*, Silvia M. A. A. Evers, Peter J. Jongen, Mickael Hiligsmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundThe choice between disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) becomes more often a shared decision between the patient and the neurologist and MS nurse. This study aimed to assess which DMD attributes are most important for the healthcare professionals in selecting a DMD for a patient. Subsequently, within this perspective, the neurologists' and nurses' perspectives were compared. Lastly, the healthcare professionals' perspective was compared with the patients' perspective to detect any differences that may need attention in the communication about DMDs. DesignA best-worst scaling (BWS) was conducted among 27 neurologists and 33 MS nurses treating patients with MS to determine the importance of 27 DMD attributes. These attributes were identified through three focus groups with MS patients in a previous study (N=19). Relative importance scores (RISs) were estimated for each attribute. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to compare the different perspectives. ResultsAccording to the neurologists and nurses, safety of the DMD was the most important DMD attribute in the treatment decision, closely followed by effect on disability progression, quality of life and relapse rate. Patients with MS agreed with the importance of the last three attributes, but valued safety significantly lower (b=-2.59, P<.001). ConclusionsThis study suggests that, overall, neurologists and nurses regard the same DMD attributes as important as MS patients with the notable exception of safety. This study provides valuable information for the development of interventions to support shared decision making and highlights which attributes of DMDs may need additional attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • multiple sclerosis
  • best-worst scaling
  • healthcare professionals
  • disease-modifying drugs
  • shared decision making
  • patients


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