What is a discrete choice experiment?
A discrete choice experiment is a quantitative method increasingly used in healthcare to elicit preferences from participants (patients, payers, commissioners) without directly asking them to state their preferred options. In a DCE, participants are typically presented with a series of alternative hypothetical scenarios containing a number of variables or “attributes” (usually ≤5), each of which may have a number of variations or “levels”. Participants are asked to state their preferred choice between 2 or 3 competing scenarios, each of which consists of a combination of these attributes / levels. Typically, survey instruments include 5 to 10 of such choices to be completed..
When would you need to conduct a discrete choice experiment?
Discrete choice experiments are particularly useful when there are a range of potential factors that might contribute to a person’s overall experience while being treated for a specific health condition. For example, a device manufacturer might be interested in determining patient preferences for two alternative locations for the placement of a device. Attributes (and levels) tested in a DCE might consist of “effectiveness” (low, moderate, high), “convenience” (inconvenient, convenient), “time until replacement required” (1 year, 2 to 3 years, ≥3 years) and “side effects” (none, mild, moderate, severe). The results of a DCE can be used to explain and quantify the likely benefits from different interventions.
How can we help you?
YHEC can develop, run and analyse discrete choice experiments to help evaluate preferences for medical devices. We would work with you to determine the appropriate attributes and levels to be included in the question, and would use orthogonal design to select the most efficient combination of questions to generate a full valuation set. We can then interpret the DCE outcomes and provide a series of recommendations.