Risk preferences, rationality of choices, and willingness to pay for preventive medicine in patients with graves’ thyrotoxicosis

Naoya Emoto, Mikiko Okazaki-Hada, Yuji Yamaguchi, Fumitaka Okajima, Rei Goto, Hitoshi Sugihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Patients with thyrotoxicosis show neuropsychological changes, and these may damage the quality of informed consent in clinical practice. Therefore, we examined patients’ real-life preferences to assess whether change in risk preferences was dependent on thyroid function state. Patients and Methods: The participants were 86 patients who were newly diagnosed with Graves’ thyrotoxicosis between 1 January and 31 December 2018 (group A), and an additional 33 euthyroid patients diagnosed before 2018 (group B). In a survey conducted via a questionnaire based on the concept of behavioral economics, we sought to determine risk preferences, rationality of choices, and other relevant factors. An identical second survey was completed 6–12 months later by 36 patients in group A after their thyroid functions had been normalized by treatment, and by 11 euthyroid patients in group B. We performed paired analysis of the first and second surveys in 32 patients of group A and single regression analysis of a total of 140 surveys obtained from 119 patients by combining the first and second surveys of groups A and B with serum level of FT3 as an independent variable. Results: The paired analysis indicated that there was no significant difference in any survey item. The single regression analysis revealed that willingness-to-pay (WTP) for preventive medicine and monthly average out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on medical care were both significantly positively associated with serum level of FT3. Patients in the hyperthyroid state tend to have high WTP for preventive medicine, which may be accelerated by the anchoring effect of OOP expenditure. Conclusion: Almost all risk preferences of patients with Graves’ disease are constant, rational, and reproducible in the hyperthyroid and euthyroid states. However, medical professionals should be aware that the willingness of patients with thyrotoxicosis to pay for medical costs may change after the normalization of thyroid function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1971-1979
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anchoring effects
  • Behavioral economics
  • Informed consent
  • Out-of-pocket expenditure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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