Parental Preferences for Vesicoureteral Reflux Treatment: a Crowd-sourced, Best-worst Scaling Study.


OBJECTIVE:To quantitatively evaluate parental preferences for the various treatments for vesicoureteral reflux using crowd-sourced best-worst scaling, a novel technique in urologic preference estimation. METHODS:Preference data were collected from a community sample of parents via two best-worst scaling survey instruments published to Amazon's Mechanical Turk online community. Attributes and attribute levels were selected following extensive review of the reflux literature. Respondents completed an object case best-worst scaling exercise to prioritize general aspects of reflux treatments and multi-profile case best-worst scaling to elicit their preferences for the specific differences in reflux treatments. Data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression. Results from the object-case provided probability scaled values (PSV) that reflected the order of importance of attributes. RESULTS:We analyzed data for 248 and 228 respondents for object and multi-profile case BWS, respectively. When prioritizing general aspects of reflux treatment, effectiveness (PSV=20.37), risk of future urinary tract infection (PSV=14.85) and complication rate (PSV=14.55) were most important to parents. Societal cost (PSV=1.41), length of hospitalization (PSV=1.09), and cosmesis (PSV=0.91) were least important. Parents perceived no difference in preference for the cosmetic outcome of open versus minimally invasive surgery (p=0.791). Bundling attribute preference weights, parents in our study would choose open surgery 74.9% of the time. CONCLUSIONS:High treatment effectiveness was the most important and preferred attribute to parents. Alternatively, cost and cosmesis were among the least important. Our findings serve to inform shared parent-physician decision-making for vesicoureteral reflux.





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Publication Info

Dionise, Zachary R, Juan Marcos Gonzalez, Michael L Garcia-Roig, Andrew J Kirsch, Charles D Scales, John S Wiener, J Todd Purves, Jonathan C Routh, et al. (2019). Parental Preferences for Vesicoureteral Reflux Treatment: a Crowd-sourced, Best-worst Scaling Study. Urology. 10.1016/j.urology.2019.01.045 Retrieved from

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Zachary Dionise

House Staff

Juan Marcos Gonzalez

Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Gonzalez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences. He is an expert in the design of stated-preference survey instruments and the use of advanced statistical tools to analyze stated-preference data. His research has focused on the transparency in benefit-risk evaluations of medical interventions, and the elicitation of health preferences from multiple stakeholders to support shared decision making.

Dr. Gonzalez co-led the first FDA-sponsored preference study which was highlighted in FDA’s recent precedent-setting guidance for submitting patient-preference evidence to inform regulatory benefit-risk evaluations of new medical devices. More recently, Dr. Gonzalez collaborated with the Medical Devices Innovation Consortium (MDIC) to prepare the first catalog of preference-elicitation methods (part of the Patient-Centered Benefit-Risk Assessment Framework) suitable for benefit-risk assessments of medical devices. As a core group member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Conjoint Analysis Task Force, Dr. Gonzalez helped draft good-practice recommendations for statistical analysis, interpretation, and reporting of health preference data. Currently, he is working with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at FDA to support the Center’s capabilities for the review of stated-preference data in regulatory decisions.

Areas of expertise: Clinical Decision Sciences and Health Measurement

Charles Douglas Scales

Associate Professor of Urology

John Samuel Wiener

Professor of Urology

As a general pediatric urologist, Dr. Wiener is involved with all aspects of pediatric urology as a clinician and researcher.  His research interests are most focused, however, on the urologic management of neurogenic bladder and spina bifida and the molecular biology involving development of the genitourinary tract and disorders.

Dr. Wiener is the principal investigator at Duke for The National Spina Bifida Patient Registry and Urologic Management of Young Children with Spina Bifida protocol administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  These projects began at Duke in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

Dr. Wiener was previously a project director for the P50 Center for Undiagnosed Pediatric and Urogenital Disorders.

Dr. Wiener has served in national leadership positions in pediatric urology including President of the Society of Fetal Urology, Executive Council of Society for Pediatric Urology, and the Examination Committee of the American Board of Urology.  He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Spina Bifida Association


J Todd Purves

Professor of Urology

Jonathan Charles Routh

Paul H. Sherman, M.D. Distinguished Associate Professor of Surgery

I am a pediatric urologist and health services researcher who is interested in caring for children with urological problems, conducting research on how to improve that care, and mentoring young researchers to ensure that the next generation does both better than I currently can. 

My clinical interests include minimally-invasive surgery, neurogenic and non-neurogenic voiding dysfunction, complex urologic reconstruction (particularly in children with spina bifida), and pediatric urologic oncology (particularly Wilms tumor and rhabdomyosarcoma). My research has been funded by awards from the NIH, CDC, FDA, and multiple foundations and industry partners, and during my time on faculty at Duke I have had the pleasure of collaborating with many groups and individuals around the world on a number of projects. Over the past 15 years, I have formally mentored nearly 3 dozen undergraduates, medical students, urology residents, post-doctoral students, and junior faculty members across multiple disciplines (pediatrics, urogynecology, urology, and nursing).

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