Preferences and willingness to wait for a work-related medical rehabilitation program amongst participants in cancer rehabilitation

Keywords: discrete choice experiment, willingness to wait, patient preferences, work-related medical rehabilitation, cancer rehabilitation


Objectives To explore the preferences and willingness of cancer patient to wait for work-related components in a medical rehabilitation program.

Methods The study explored cancer patients’ preferences and willingness to wait for work-related components in a medical rehabilitation program using a discrete choice experiment. Participants were asked to indicate preferences regarding social counseling, work-related psychological groups, work-related functional capacity training and waiting time until the start of rehabilitation treatment. 

Results A total of 464 patients participated in the study. Mean age was 50.5 years (SD = 7.6). About two thirds were female. The results indicate that patients anticipated increased utility from all work-related treatment components. Waiting time decreased utility. Willingness to wait was highest for work-related psychological groups. Participants were willing to wait 37 weeks if work-related medical rehabilitation components (45 minutes of intensified social counseling, 240 minutes of work-related psychological groups, and 360 minutes of work-related functional capacity training) would be added to a common rehabilitation program.

Conclusions The study highlights cancer patients’ preferences for therapies that focus on occupational reintegration.