Using Conjoint Analysis to Evaluate Health State Preferences


Quality of life dimensions are important considerations when patients evaluate pharmaceutical products with respect to personal benefits. Traditionally, standard gamble, time trade-off, and rating scale techniques are used to obtain preference (utility) estimates for various quality of life dimensions. This study examines three objectives to determine the feasibility of using conjoint analysis to elicit patient preferences for a particular health state. For the first objective, patients with multiple myeloma were asked to select quality of life conditions for 18 hypothetical patients with cancer and to indicate which conditions were the easiest and hardest to live with. Second, patients were asked to rate several cancer-related and general symptoms using visual analog scales. Third, comparisons were made between the two techniques to determine similarity and validity. Results revealed that conjoint analysis is useful for health-related quality of life research, and that conjoint analysis results compare favorably with values obtained from visual analog scales.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sheryl L. Szeinbach PhD, RPh.

Additional information

Pesented at the DIA Symposium “Quality of Life Evaluation.” April 6–8. 1998, Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Support for this study was provided by a grant from Novartis.

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Szeinbach, S.L., Barnes, J.H., McGhan, W.F. et al. Using Conjoint Analysis to Evaluate Health State Preferences. Ther Innov Regul Sci 33, 849–858 (1999).

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Key Words

  • Health state preferences
  • Conjoint analysis
  • Visual analog scaling
  • Quality of life multiple myeloma