Purpose: Our objective was to compare patient's expectations to their experience and to identify factors predictive of patient's perception of long-term LMWH for the treatment of cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT).
Methods: Results from the validated Perception Anticoagulant Treatment Questionnaires (PACTQ) completed before inclusion (PACTQ1 for expectations) and at the end (PACTQ2 for convenience and satisfaction) of the 6-month TROPIQUE study were studied with principal component analysis. Possible predictive factors of improved perception of LMWH treatment were analyzed with the Kruskall-Wallis test.
Results: Among 409 included patients treated with LMWH, 269 PACT-Q1 and 139 PACT-Q2 were evaluable for treatment perception. Patients had high expectations (A1-A7 score of 26.7 ± 3.5, max = 35). Treatment cost (A7 = 1.90 ± 1.31) and concern about a mistake in anticoagulation (A5 = 1.93 ± 1.12) had little importance while LMWH treatment was considered easy to use (A4 = 4.20 ± 0.93). Six-month treatment with LMWH was associated with a high rate of convenience (B1-B11, C1-C2 = 55.1 ± 8.38, max = 65) and a high satisfaction score (D1-D7 = 25.1 ± 4.32, max = 35). Patients' confidence in treatment and perception of possible LMWH side effects were moderate while perception of autonomy and independence significantly improved at the end of the study compared to inclusion. PACT-Q2 satisfaction score was low in patients who experienced bleeding (PACT-Q2 24.1 ± 3.3 vs. 25.1 ± 4.3). LMWH twice daily tended to be found less convenient compared than once daily (53.3 ± 7.2 vs. 55.0 ± 8.3).
Conclusion: CAT patients had a good perception of the 6-month LMWH treatment when comparing expectations and experience. Using a quantitative scale validated in the general population for VTE and subcutaneous injection and including a large number of patients, bleeding complications and LMWH twice daily were associated with a nonsignificant trend towards a worsen perception.
Keywords: Acceptability; Cancer; Experience; LMWH; Quality of life; Venous thromboembolism.