As we saw in Module 1, patients need to navigate complex risk-benefit profiles when deciding whether or not to start a biologic. Even after they decide that they want to start a biologic, they are faced with even more decisions, as they need to figure out which biologic to use. There are many first-line biologic therapies available for use in IBD, and they all differ in how they work, how they are given, efficacy rates, and side-effect profiles. In short, it is difficult for patients to navigate the wide array of treatment options with their doctor and to choose a therapy that fits their treatment needs and lifestyle.
To quantitatively examine how patients make decisions when selecting among the different biologic options, a conjoint analysis was conducted among a large number of IBD patients. Specifically, by examining patients’ choice patterns without reference to generic or brand names, we wanted to quantify and rank-order the relative importance of biologic attributes (i.e., mechanism of action, mode of administration, efficacy, and side-effect profile) in driving decision-making.