Purpose: The objectives of this study were: (1) to describe parents and health care professionals (HCPs) perceived importance of oral mucositis prevention in children with cancer; (2) To describe utilities and willingness-to-pay (WTP) to prevent mucositis.
Methods: Respondents included parents of children receiving intensive chemotherapy for leukemia/lymphoma or undergoing stem cell transplantation and HCPs caring for children with cancer. Importance of mild and severe oral mucositis was estimated using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Mucositis-associated utilities were elicited using the time trade-off technique (TTO). WTP to avoid mucositis was obtained using contingent valuation. These techniques quantify how much time or money the participant is willing to relinquish in order to prevent mucositis.
Results: Eighty-two parents and 60 HCPs were included. Parents and HCPs believed mild mucositis to be of similar importance (median VAS 2.5 versus 3.6; P = 0.357) while parents considered severe mucositis less important than HCPs (median VAS 8.3 versus 9.0; P < 0.0001). No differences in parent versus HCP responses were seen with TTO (mild or severe mucositis) and most parents were not willing to trade any survival time to prevent severe mucositis. Parents were willing to pay significantly more than HCPs to prevent mild mucositis (average median WTP $1,371 CAN vs. $684 CAN, P = 0.031). No differences were seen in WTP to prevent severe mucositis.
Conclusions: Parents and HCP believe severe mucositis to be important, although it is more important to HCPs. Parents would not be willing to reduce life expectancy to eliminate mucositis.