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Patient's decision process in refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery (RELACS): which are the main decision factors?

Session Details

Session Title: Special Issues

Session Date/Time: Friday 15/02/2013 | 08:30-10:00

Paper Time: 09:05

Venue: Hall 2

First Author: : T.Herbst GERMANY

Co Author(s): :    J. Förster   D. Uthoff           

Abstract Details


The aim of this study is to identify main factors in decision process of patients who agree to co-payments for refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery (RELACS).


We develop a questionnaire, which includes 11 questions. The questionnaire deals with different aspects of decision process, like relevance and relative importance of different information sources, reputation of surgeon, risk of medical treatment and other possible impact factors like. Furthermore, we pay attention to role of price level.


Possible answers will be formulated according to four-point Likert scale. For Evaluation of our questionnaire, Rasch analysis will be conducted and redundant questions will be eliminated for data evaluation. Most results will be displayed in a descriptive way. In order to identify optimal price range, price-sensitivity-meter (PSM) will be used. Price elasticity will be analyzed by Garbor Grange method.


We expected the factor “price level” to play a subdominant role in patient’s decision process in favor of RELACS. With regard to product cycle of RELACS, we expect that patients, who have undergone RELACS, will fit to characteristic profile of “innovators”, are the first adopters of new technologies. These patients typically have low price sensitivity and show risk neutral behavior. Our results confirm the hypotheses: Rasch analysis shows good results for all questions. According to the result of Garbor Grange method, price level seems to play a subordinate role in patient’s decision process. Instead, quality of medical performance, reputation of the surgeon and patient’s fear of a surgical operation seem to have a relative greater impact on the patient’s decision process. Price sensitivity seems to be very low (-0,36). The results, which are mentioned above, are just a midterm result, because survey is still in process and final results are expected for January 2013. In this context, further analyses (e.g. factor analysis) will occur if necessary and reasonable.


The femto-phaco laser technology seems to be a momentously step in cataract surgery. In the context of RELACS, the present study wants to explore the main factors in patient’s decision process in favor of this treatment. Data evaluation occurs by a self-developed questionnaire, which consists of 11 questions and whose evaluation is proven by Rasch analysis. Within our analysis, we pay special attention to the role of price level as well as to relative importance of other factors (reputation of surgeon, medical risk of treatment, etc.). Our results show, that price level seems to play a secondary role in decision process. Quality of medical performance, reputation of the surgeon and patient’s fear of a surgical operation seem to be the main factors.

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