Discrete Choice Experiment Reveals Strong Preference for Dietary Treatment Among Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

R. Sturkenboom*, D. Keszthelyi, A.A.M. Masclee, B.A.B. Essers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent, chronic disorder of the gut-brain interaction that significantly affects quality of life. Several treatments, with comparable clinical efficacy, are available. Patient preferences can therefore be an important determinant of an effective management strategy. Treatment preferences of patients regarding decision making remain unclear. We aimed to examine these preferences and estimate trade-offs between different attributes.METHODS: A total of 427 patients from the Maastricht IBS cohort were invited to participate. A labeled discrete choice experiment survey, containing 9 scenarios with each 3 alternatives (medication, diet, psychotherapy), was developed in order to estimate preferences. The treatment scenarios were based on 6 attributes: effectiveness, time to response, time until recurrence, side effects, time required, and frequency of appointments. The preference weights and relative importance were analyzed using a mixed logit model.RESULTS: A total of 185 (43.3%) of 427 potential respondents completed the questionnaire (mean age 49.51 years, 69.2% female). The most preferred treatment was dietary intervention (48.1%), followed by pharmacotherapy (29.2%) and psychotherapy (22.7%). IBS patients preferred a higher effectiveness, shorter time interval to response, longer time interval until recurrence, no severe side effects, and frequent appointments when attending psychotherapy. Younger patients (<= 50 years of age) preferred dietary interventions and a long period until recurrence, whereas older patients (>50 years of age) were more inclined to choose pharmacotherapy and the period until recurrence was not important.CONCLUSIONS: Dietary interventions were the most preferred IBS therapy. Identifying patients' treatment preferences during shared decision making will provide more optimal management strategies and could be the best approach to diminish disease burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2628-2637
Number of pages10
JournalClinical gastroenterology and hepatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • IBS
  • Treatment Preferences
  • DCE
  • Management of IBS

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