, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 251-253
Date: 24 Aug 2012

Conjoint Analysis at the Individual Patient Level

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Researchers have recently described the feasibility of eliciting patients’ preferences using conjoint analysis (CA) in a variety of healthcare domains, including treatment options, cancer screening, and healthcare delivery.[1] These studies have demonstrated that CA, whether administered using a full profile, choice-based, or adaptive approach, appears to be a very valuable way of quantifying patients’ preferences and understanding the impact of specific attributes on patients’ choices. The challenge for the health service research community is now to determine how best to (i) develop decision support tools using CA; and (ii) implement these tools into clinical practice. The following paragraphs outline several issues that should be considered as we aim to meet these challenges.

1. Construction versus Elicitation of Preferences

In contrast with earlier preference studies, which assumed that patients have well formed stable preferences that need only be elicited, it is now clear that pati