Introduction: Qualitative exit interviews can supplement clinical trial results by providing a rich and detailed picture of the patient's experience, while highlighting the treatment benefits that are meaningful to patients. Exit interviews can be particularly useful for providing insight into newer medications when less is known about the patient's subjective experience of treatment. Tirzepatide is a novel dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for type 2 diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this study was to conduct exit interviews with patients following participation in two trials to better understand the impact of tirzepatide from the patients' point of view.
Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with patients with type 2 diabetes treated with tirzepatide soon after completing one of two trials (SURPASS-2, SURPASS-3). Interviews, conducted according to a semi-structured interview guide, were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed following a content analysis approach using ATLAS.ti.
Results: A total of 28 patients (64% female; mean age 57.6 years) completed interviews. All participants (100%) reported at least one treatment benefit. Patients provided descriptions of treatment benefits, including improved glycemic control (reported by 96% of the sample), weight loss (93%), decreased appetite (79%), and increased energy (79%), as indicated by qualitative coding. All participants said these treatment-related changes mattered to them. Patients described improvements in quality of life and daily activities associated with these treatment benefits. Despite adverse events reported by some patients (most commonly nausea, reported by 13 patients), all 28 said they would recommend tirzepatide to others, and 27 said they would be willing to continue treatment. Examples of representative quotations are presented for descriptions of treatment benefits, quality-of-life impact, and adverse events.
Discussion: The current results indicate that treatment benefits observed in clinical trials of tirzepatide are important to patients. As demonstrated in quotations from patients, the most enthusiastic descriptions of treatment outcomes focused on the weight loss associated with tirzepatide. The study also highlights the usefulness of exit interviews, which can supplement quantitative trial data by showing how these benefits have a meaningful impact on patients' quality of life.
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