An Exploratory Analysis of the “Was It Worth It?” Questionnaire as a Novel Metric to Capture Patient Perceptions of Cancer Treatment

Gita Thanarajasingam, Ethan Basch, Carolyn Mead-Harvey, Antonia V. Bennett, Gina L. Mazza, Gisela Schwab, Jessica Roydhouse, Lauren J. Rogak, Amylou C. Dueck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Asking “Was it worth it?” (WIWI) potentially captures the patient perception of a treatment's benefit weighed against its harms. This exploratory analysis evaluates the WIWI questionnaire as a metric of patients’ perspectives on the worthwhileness of cancer treatment. Methods: A 3-item WIWI questionnaire was assessed at end of treatment in patients with cancer on the COMET-2 trial (NCT01522443). WIWI items were evaluated to determine their association with quality of life (QOL), treatment duration, end-of-treatment reason, patient-reported adverse events (AEs), and disease response. Results: A total of 65 patients completed the questionnaire; 40 (62%), 16 (25%), and 9 (14%) patients replied yes, uncertain, and no to “Was it worthwhile for you to receive the cancer treatment given in this study?” (item 1), respectively; 39 (60%), 12 (18%), and 14 (22%) to “If you had to do it over again, would you choose to have this cancer treatment?”; and 40 (62%), 14 (22%), and 11 (17%) to “Would you recommend this cancer treatment to others?” Patients responding yes to item 1 remained on treatment longer than those responding uncertain or no (mean 23.0 vs 11.3 weeks, P<.001). Patients responding uncertain/no to item 1 discontinued treatment because of AEs more frequently than those responding yes (36% vs 7.5%, P=.004) and demonstrated meaningful decline in QOL from baseline (−2.5 vs −0.2 mean change, P<.001). Associations between WIWI responses and most patient-reported AEs or treatment efficacy did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Patients who responded affirmatively on WIWI items remained on therapy longer, were less likely to stop treatment because of AEs, and demonstrated superior QOL. The WIWI may inform clinical practice, oncology research, and value frameworks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1086
Number of pages6
JournalValue in Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • adverse events
  • patient perspective
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • tolerability
  • toxicity
  • value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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