Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 289–299 | Cite as

Patient preferences for treatment in type 2 diabetes: the Italian discrete-choice experiment analysis

  • Giulio MarchesiniEmail author
  • Patrizio Pasqualetti
  • Roberto Anichini
  • Salvatore Caputo
  • Giuseppe Memoli
  • Paola Ponzani
  • Veronica Resi
  • Manfredi Rizzo
  • Gaetano Serviddio
  • Giorgio Zanette
Original Article



Several drug classes are now available to achieve a satisfactory metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), but patients’ preferences may differ.


In a discrete-choice experiment, we tested T2DM patients’ preferences for recent antidiabetic drugs, in the event that their treatment might require intensification. The following attributes were considered: (a) route of administration; (b) type of delivery; (c) timing; (d) risk of adverse events; (e) effects on body weight. Twenty-two possible scenarios were built, transferred into 192 paired choices and proposed to 491 cases naïve to injectable treatments and 171 treated by GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). Analyses were performed by descriptive statistics and random effects logit regression model.


Preferences according to dosing frequency, risk of nausea and urinary tract infections (UTls) were similar across groups, age, sex and BMI. Administration route and delivery type accounted for 1/3 of relative importance; the risk of UTIs, nausea and dosing frequency for ≈ 20% each, and weight loss for only 6%. Two significant interactions emerged (p < 0.01): type of delivery × group, and weight change × BMI class. Irrespective of previous treatment, the three preferred choices were injectable, coupled with weekly dosing and a ready-to-use device (first two choices). In a regression model, being naïve or non-naïve changed the ranking of preferences (p < 0.001), and the order was systematically shifted towards injectable medications in non-naïve subjects.


Easy-to-deliver, injectable treatment is preferred in T2DM, independently of treatment history, and previous experience with GLP-1RAs strengthens patients’ willingness to accept injectable drugs.


Adverse events Dose frequency Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists Injectable drugs Nausea Oral treatment Route of delivery Sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors Urogenital-tract infections Weight loss 



The authors are indebted to Carlo Donato and Andrea Pulazzini, ThinkTank, Milan, Italy, for their support in implementing the DCE methodology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Research involving human and/or animal rights

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committees and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

592_2018_1236_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 85 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Marchesini
    • 1
    • 11
    Email author
  • Patrizio Pasqualetti
    • 2
  • Roberto Anichini
    • 3
  • Salvatore Caputo
    • 4
  • Giuseppe Memoli
    • 5
  • Paola Ponzani
    • 6
  • Veronica Resi
    • 7
  • Manfredi Rizzo
    • 8
  • Gaetano Serviddio
    • 9
  • Giorgio Zanette
    • 10
  1. 1.SSD Malattie del Metabolismo e Dietetica ClinicaUniversità “Alma Mater”BolognaItaly
  2. 2.Fondazione Fatebenefratelli per la Ricerca e la Formazione Sanitaria e SocialeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Sezione Autonoma di Diabetologia e Malattie MetabolichePresidio Ospedaliero di PistoiaPistoiaItaly
  4. 4.Servizio di Diabetologia, Policlinico GemelliUniversità CattolicaRomeItaly
  5. 5.Centro di Diabetologia “San Luca”Ariano Irpino (AV)Italy
  6. 6.UO di Diabetologia, Ospedale La CollettaArenzano (GE)Italy
  7. 7.Servizio di Diabetologia, UO Endocrinologia e Malattie MetabolicheFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda-Ospedale Maggiore, PoliclinicoMilanItaly
  8. 8.Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e SpecialisticaUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  9. 9.Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e ChirurgicheCentro Universitario per la Ricerca e la Cura delle Epatopatie (CURE)FoggiaItaly
  10. 10.SSD di DiabetologiaAzienda OspedalieraPordenoneItaly
  11. 11.Department of Medical & Surgical Sciences“Alma Mater” University, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly

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