Patient preference for high or low dose rate brachytherapy in carcinoma of the cervix Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • High and low dose rate are two competing methods of brachytherapy. Existing data do not support choosing one method over the other for treating carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Arguments include clinical efficacy, monetary cost, radiation safety, and patient preference. There are no published data on patient preference. We developed a questionnaire to elicit patient preference and to measure its strength. Subjects received descriptions of both treatment options and their probable outcomes. We elicited preference for one low or three high dose rate fractions, and for two low or five high dose rate fractions, assuming both methods to be isoeffective. Strength of initial preference was measured by asking subjects how much of a change, in either the changes for cure or the chances for toxicity, would make them change preference. The questionnaire was completed by female staff at our centre (n = 90), by a group of previously treated patients (n = 18), and by a group of newly diagnosed patients (n = 20). When both methods were assumed to be isoeffective, only 34% of the 38 patients preferred three fractions of high dose rate to one fraction of low dose rate. However, when high dose rate was assumed to be 2% more curative, or 6% less toxic, a simple majority of 50% then said they would prefer high dose rate. Both preference and strength of preference for low dose rate were significantly associated with a greater travelling distance for treatments. Age, marital status, family structure, education, employment, and family income were not associated. In summary, a majority of our patients preferred low dose rate brachytherapy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

publication date

  • December 1994