Chaudhuri, Shomesh E. E.; Ben Chaouch; Zied Ben Chaouch; Brett Hauber; Brennan Mange; Mo Zhou; Stephanie Christopher; Dawn Bardot; Margaret Sheehan; Anne Donnelly; Lauren McLaughlin; Brittany Caldwell; Heather L. L. Benz; Martin Ho; Anindita Saha; Katrina Gwinn; Murray Sheldon and Andrew W. W. Lo

A fixed one-sided significance level of 5% is commonly used to interpret the statistical significance of randomized clinical trial (RCT) outcomes. While it is necessary to reduce the false positive rate, the threshold used could be chosen quantitatively and transparently to specifically reflect patient preferences regarding benefit-risk tradeoffs as well as other considerations. How can patient preferences be explicitly incorporated into RCTs in Parkinson's disease (PD), and what is the impact on statistical thresholds for device approval? In this analysis, we apply Bayesian decision analysis (BDA) to PD patient preference scores elicited from survey data. BDA allows us to choose a sample size (n) and significance level (alpha) that maximizes the overall expected value to patients of a balanced two-arm fixed-sample RCT, where the expected value is computed under both null and alternative hypotheses. For PD patients who had previously received deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment, the BDA-optimal significance levels fell between 4.0% and 10.0%, similar to or greater than the traditional value of 5%. Conversely, for patients who had never received DBS, the optimal significance level ranged from 0.2% to 4.4%. In both of these populations, the optimal significance level increased with the severity of the patients' cognitive and motor function symptoms. By explicitly incorporating patient preferences into clinical trial designs and the regulatory decision-making process, BDA provides a quantitative and trans-parent approach to combine clinical and statistical significance. For PD patients who have never received DBS treatment, a 5% significance thresh-old may not be conservative enough to reflect their risk-aversion level. However, this study shows that patients who previously received DBS treatment present a higher tolerance to accept therapeutic risks in exchange for improved efficacy which is reflected in a higher statistical threshold.