Preferences for portable ultrasound devices: a discrete choice experiment among abdominal aortic aneurysm surveillance patients and general ultrasound patients in England
Parsons C., Khan KA., Pink J., Verran A., Griffiths F., Hutchinson CE., Petrou S.
<br/><strong>Objective: </strong>To undertake an assessment of preferences as to how, where and by whom ultrasounds (US) should be performed in: (1) patients undergoing surveillance of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) size (AAA group); and (2) patients being scanned for general abdominal conditions (general group).<br/><strong>Design: </strong>A discrete choice experiment (DCE) questionnaire was administered to patients attending US appointments. Analysis of questionnaire responses used conditional logit models and included validity checks.<br/><strong>Setting: </strong>West Midlands, England.<br/><strong>Participants: </strong>524 patients (223 in the AAA group and 301 in the general group) were recruited from the US outpatient department at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.<br/><strong>Outcome measures: </strong>Coefficients for attributes in relation to their reference levels.<br/><strong>Results: </strong>The AAA group preferred to have their US performed in hospital while the general group had a preference for portable US at general practice surgeries. All patients had a strong preference for scanning by specialists, devices with a lower risk of underdiagnosis and receiving their results at the appointment where the scan takes place. The general group had a strong preference for the person performing the scan to know their medical history.<br/><strong>Conclusions: </strong>Patients being scanned for general abdominal conditions prefer to be scanned in a general practice by practitioners who know their medical history. Patients undergoing surveillance of AAA size prefer to be scanned in a hospital setting. Both groups would prefer to be informed of the scan results as soon as possible. Further research is required to explore the clinical scenarios in which targeted scanning by community practitioners would be of benefit to patients.