Objectives: For medical devices, benefits other than direct clinical effects may have a large impact on the patients’ well-being, but a standardized method for measuring these benefits is unavailable. The objective was to explore potential patient benefits provided by medical devices, and to assess the relative preferences of these benefits in the general Swedish population.
Methods: To identify attributes of patient benefit, healthcare personnel within a wide range of disease areas were interviewed. The generalized attributes were then validated among healthcare personnel, patient organizations, and manufacturers; in two pilot studies in the general population; and in two rounds of cognitive interviews. The general population's preferences of the attributes were measured with a usability-tested questionnaire in a final responding sample of 3,802 individuals, representative of the Swedish population.
Results: Twenty attributes were identified, encompassing aspects of integrity, sense of security, social participation, and convenience. When measuring the relative preferences, the response rate was 37.0 percent, and the results showed that the attributes with the highest preferences concerned reliability, reduced need for assistance, and sense of control of the illness/disability.
Conclusions: A set of twenty attributes of patient benefit relevant to users of medical devices was identified and validated. A questionnaire for patient-reported assessment of the benefits provided by a medical device was developed, based on the attributes. The questionnaire, designated MedTech20, provides a generic measurement method for the evaluation of medical devices used in a wide range of diseases/disabilities.