Studies have demonstrated that patients at low risk for febrile neutropenia (FN) complications can be treated safely and effectively at home. Information on patient preferences for outpatient treatment of this condition will help to optimize health care delivery to these patients. The purpose of this study was to elicit non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients' preferences on attributes related to outpatient treatment of FN.
We used a self-administered discrete choice experiment questionnaire based on the attributes of out-of-pocket costs, unpaid caregiver time required daily, and probability of return to the hospital. Ten paired scenarios in which levels of the attributes were varied were presented to study patients. For each pair, patients indicated the scenario they preferred. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of accepting a scenario that described outpatient care for FN were estimated.
Eighty-eight patients completed the questionnaire. Adjusted ORs [95 % confidence intervals] of accepting outpatient care for FN were 0.84 [0.75, 0.95] for each $10 increase in out-of-pocket cost; 0.82 [0.68, 0.99] for each 1 h increase in daily unpaid caregiver time; and 0.53 [0.50, 0.57] for each 5 % increase in probability of return to the hospital.
Probability of return to the hospital was the most important attribute to patients when considering home-based care for FN. Patients considered out-of-pocket costs and unpaid caregiver time to be less important than probability of return to the hospital. This study identifies factors that could be incorporated into outpatient delivery systems for FN care to ensure adequate patient uptake and satisfaction with such programs.