, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 501–511 | Cite as

Using Discrete-Choice Experiment Methods to Estimate the Value of Informal Care: The Case of Children with Intellectual Disability

  • Sheena AroraEmail author
  • Stephen Goodall
  • Rosalie Viney
  • Stewart Einfeld
Original Research Article



This research produces a preference-based monetary valuation of informal care provided to children with intellectual disability (ID) that can be directly applied in economic evaluations.


A discrete-choice experiment (DCE) was designed to elicit an individual’s willingness to accept compensation for different care tasks. Respondents were presented choice sets that included a care package comprising different amounts and types of care and asked to choose between the care package provided free of charge or providing that care themselves and receiving cash compensation. The care package included personal care, social support, household errands and housework, with the value of compensation, number of care hours provided and types of care varied across the choice sets. Choices were analysed using a generalised multinomial logit model and latent class model.


A representative sample of 198 caregivers completed the survey (response rate 52%). Participants were recruited in Australia. Overall, caregivers would accept a minimum of Australian dollars ($A)20.61 to provide 1 h of care. The preferences for assistance varied significantly with different types of care tasks. Individuals placed the highest value on receiving assistance with social support ($A35.96) and the least value on receiving assistance with household errands ($A-0.92)


This study produces a value of informal care provided to children with ID that can be directly applied in economic evaluations. The study shows that informal care tasks are not valued equally. Caregivers placed the most value on receiving assistance with social support, which may reflect the time spent by caregivers on these tasks.



The authors would like to thank all the caregivers who kindly donated their time to participate in this research. We would also like to thank all members of the MHYPEDD (Mental Health of Young People with Developmental Disabilities) study team, particularly the team from Monash University and the University of Sydney, who spent many hours assisting with data collection. Special thanks also to Kristina Clarke, who assisted with setting up the online questionnaire.

Author Contributions

SA, SG and RV developed the research question and methodology. All authors contributed to the design of the study. SA constructed the models and performed the data analysis. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and approved the final version for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study received funding via a programme grant from the Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council (grant no. 1016919). We would also like to thank the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, which provided support for this research.

Conflicts of interest

Sheena Arora, Stephen Goodall, Rosalie Viney and Stewart Einfeld have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Economics Research and EvaluationUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia
  2. 2.Brain and Mind Centre, University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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