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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 1/2019

Opportunities and challenges for the inclusion of patient preferences in the medical product life cycle: a systematic review

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making > Ausgabe 1/2019
Rosanne Janssens, Isabelle Huys, Eline van Overbeeke, Chiara Whichello, Sarah Harding, Jürgen Kübler, Juhaeri Juhaeri, Antonio Ciaglia, Steven Simoens, Hilde Stevens, Meredith Smith, Bennett Levitan, Irina Cleemput, Esther de Bekker-Grob, Jorien Veldwijk
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12911-019-0875-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Rosanne Janssens and Isabelle Huys are joint first author.

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The inclusion of patient preferences (PP) in the medical product life cycle is a topic of growing interest to stakeholders such as academics, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies, reimbursement agencies, industry, patients, physicians and regulators. This review aimed to understand the potential roles, reasons for using PP and the expectations, concerns and requirements associated with PP in industry processes, regulatory benefit-risk assessment (BRA) and marketing authorization (MA), and HTA and reimbursement decision-making.


A systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature published between January 2011 and March 2018 was performed. Consulted databases were EconLit, Embase, Guidelines International Network, PsycINFO and PubMed. A two-step strategy was used to select literature. Literature was analyzed using NVivo (QSR international).


From 1015 initially identified documents, 72 were included. Most were written from an academic perspective (61%) and focused on PP in BRA/MA and/or HTA/reimbursement (73%). Using PP to improve understanding of patients’ valuations of treatment outcomes, patients’ benefit-risk trade-offs and preference heterogeneity were roles identified in all three decision-making contexts. Reasons for using PP relate to the unique insights and position of patients and the positive effect of including PP on the quality of the decision-making process. Concerns shared across decision-making contexts included methodological questions concerning the validity, reliability and cognitive burden of preference methods. In order to use PP, general, operational and quality requirements were identified, including recognition of the importance of PP and ensuring patient understanding in PP studies.


Despite the array of opportunities and added value of using PP throughout the different steps of the MPLC identified in this review, their inclusion in decision-making is hampered by methodological challenges and lack of specific guidance on how to tackle these challenges when undertaking PP studies. To support the development of such guidance, more best practice PP studies and PP studies investigating the methodological issues identified in this review are critically needed.
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