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Value Health. 2015 Dec;18(8):1000-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2015.09.2937. Epub 2015 Nov 18.

Development and Content Validity Testing of a Patient-Reported Treatment Acceptance Measure for Use in Patients Receiving Treatment via Subcutaneous Injection.

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Adelphi Values, Adelphi Mill, Bollington, Cheshire, UK. Electronic address:
Adelphi Values, Adelphi Mill, Bollington, Cheshire, UK.
Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke's Hospital and the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA.
Sanofi, Bridgewater, NJ, USA.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY, USA.



New therapies in development for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, such as alirocumab, require administration by subcutaneous injections. There is a need to assess the acceptance of such treatments and their mode of administration.


To develop a novel patient-reported outcome measure, the Injection-Treatment Acceptance Questionnaire (I-TAQ), and assess its content validity using qualitative methods.


Concepts generated from a literature and instrument review informed the initial drafting of 17 items in the I-TAQ, with item wording adapted from three existing instruments. Three rounds of qualitative interviews were conducted with 29 US-English speaking patients at high cardiovascular risk. Concept elicitation questioning was used to explore patients' treatment experiences followed by cognitive debriefing of the I-TAQ using "think-aloud" methods. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis.


Qualitative analysis of concept elicitation data identified the following relevant concepts: perceived efficacy, side effects, self-efficacy, convenience, and overall acceptance. Seven (24%) patients discussed an initial fear of needles, but described this as subsiding with no impact on adherence. Five items were added after round one interviews, three of which were retained after round two testing in which two further items were added, forming the conceptually comprehensive 22-item I-TAQ. Patients demonstrated good understanding of item wording, instructions, response scales, and recall period.


Successive rounds of in-depth interviews resulted in a treatment acceptance measure with strong content validity. Pending demonstration of its psychometric properties, the I-TAQ may prove to be a valuable measure of patients' perspectives toward being treated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering therapies requiring subcutaneous injections.


acceptance; instrument development; patient-reported outcome; qualitative research

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