A Willingness-To-Pay Assessment of Parents' Preference for Shorter Duration Treatment of Acute Otitis Media in Children
Delphine Gueylard Chenevier
Objective: To assess parental willingness to pay (WTP) for a shorter course of antibacterial treatment versus conventional antibacterial therapy for acute otitis media (AOM). Methods: The study population consisted of 562 parents of children who had been seen and treated by a paediatrician for an episode of AOM between February and November 2002 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At the end of the AOM treatment, a questionnaire that included demographic information about the parents and child, details of the child's AOM history, a global wellbeing (i.e. quality of life) assessment, an evaluation of treatment compliance and a scripted WTP question was administered over the telephone. Descriptive analyses were performed in addition to a multivariate analysis to estimate possible predictors of parental WTP. Results: The children with AOM were representative of the AOM patient population, with 46% being <2 years of age and the majority attending day-care or school. Parents were willing to pay a median of $Can31.66 (2002 values) for a mono-dose (one dose, on 1 day) and $Can26.63 for a tri-dose (one dose daily, for 3 days) antibacterial treatment. Regression analyses demonstrated that the amount parents were willing to pay was positively associated with increasing household income, increasing number of AOM episodes during the previous year and experiencing adverse effects of treatment. Conclusion: Parents of children with AOM were willing to pay more for their child to benefit from a shorter duration of antibacterial treatment than for a standard course. Short duration of treatment appears to be associated with better compliance and parents' perception of better general wellbeing for their child.
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