Women’s values and preferences for thromboprophylaxis during pregnancy: a comparison of direct-choice and decision analysis using patient specific utilities
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BACKGROUND: Women with a history of venous thromboembolism (VTE) have an increased recurrence risk during pregnancy. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) reduces this risk, but is costly, burdensome, and may increase risk of bleeding. The decision to start thromboprophylaxis during pregnancy is sensitive to women's values and preferences. Our objective was to compare women's choices using a holistic approach in which they were presented all of the relevant information (direct-choice) versus a personalized decision analysis in which a mathematical model incorporated their preferences and VTE risk to make a treatment recommendation. METHODS: Multicenter, international study. Structured interviews were on women with a history of VTE who were pregnant, planning, or considering pregnancy. Women indicated their willingness to receive thromboprophylaxis based on scenarios using personalized estimates of VTE recurrence and bleeding risks. We also obtained women's values for health outcomes using a visual analog scale. We performed individualized decision analyses for each participant and compared model recommendations to decisions made when presented with the direct-choice exercise. RESULTS: Of the 123 women in the study, the decision model recommended LMWH for 51 women and recommended against LMWH for 72 women. 12% (6/51) of women for whom the decision model recommended thromboprophylaxis chose not to take LMWH; 72% (52/72) of women for whom the decision model recommended against thromboprophylaxis chose LMWH. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a high degree of discordance between decisions in the direct-choice exercise and decision model recommendations. Although which approach best captures individuals' true values remains uncertain, personalized decision support tools presenting results based on personalized risks and values may improve decision making.
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