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Willingness-to-pay to avoid the time spent and discomfort associated with screening colonoscopy


Author Info

  • Daniel E. Jonas

    (Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)

  • Louise B. Russell

    (Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Institute for Health, New Brunswick, NJ, USA)

  • Jon Chou

    (Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)

  • Michael Pignone

    (Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)


Background: The screening colonoscopy process requires a considerable amount of time and some discomfort for patients. Objective: We sought to use willingness-to-pay (WTP) to value the time required and the discomfort associated with screening colonoscopy. In addition, we aimed to explore some of the differences between and potential uses of the WTP and the human capital methods. Methods: Subjects completed a diary recording time and a questionnaire including WTP questions to value the time and discomfort associated with colonoscopy. We also valued the elapsed time reported in the diaries (but not the discomfort) using the human capital method. Results: 110 subjects completed the study. Mean WTP to avoid the time and discomfort was $263. Human capital values for elapsed time were greater. Linear regressions showed that WTP was influenced most by the difficulty of the preparation, which added $147 to WTP (p=0.03). Conclusions: WTP values to avoid the time and discomfort associated with the screening colonoscopy process were substantially lower than most of the human capital values for elapsed time alone. The human capital method may overestimate the value of time in situations that involve an irregular, episodic series of time intervals, such as preparation for or recovery after colonoscopy. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1193-1211

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:10:p:1193-1211

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  1. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Kristrom, Bengt & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 1993. "Willingness to pay for antihypertensive therapy -- further results," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 95-108, April.
  2. Trine Bergmo & Silje Wangberg, 2007. "Patients’ willingness to pay for electronic communication with their general practitioner," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 105-110, June.
  3. Jose Luis Pinto-Prades & Veronica Farreras & Jaime Fernández de Bobadilla, 2006. "Willingness to pay for a reduction in the mortality risk after a myocardial infarction: an aplication of the contingent valuation method to the case of eplerenone," Working Papers 06.17, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  4. Cauley, Stephen Day, 1987. "The Time Price of Medical Care," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 59-66, February.
  5. Johannesson, Magnus & Jonsson, Bengt & Borgquist, Lars, 1991. "Willingness to pay for antihypertensive therapy -- results of a Swedish pilot study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 461-473.
  6. Whynes, David K. & Frew, Emma & Wolstenholme, Jane L., 2003. "A comparison of two methods for eliciting contingent valuations of colorectal cancer screening," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 555-574, July.
  7. Tang, Chao-Hsiun & Liu, Jin-Tan & Chang, Ching-Wen & Chang, Wen-Ying, 2007. "Willingness to pay for drug abuse treatment: Results from a contingent valuation study in Taiwan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 251-262, July.
  8. Greenberg, Dan & Bakhai, Ameet & Neumann, Peter J. & Cohen, David J., 2004. "Willingness to pay for avoiding coronary restenosis and repeat revascularization: results from a contingent valuation study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 207-216, November.
  9. Bech, Mickael & Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte, 2000. "Cost implications of routine mammography screening of women 50-69 years in the County of Funen, Denmark," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 125-141, November.
  10. Jose-Luis Pinto-Prades & Veronica Farreras & Jaime de Bobadilla, 2008. "Willingness to pay for a reduction in mortality risk after a myocardial infarction: an application of the contingent valuation method to the case of eplerenone," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 69-78, February.
  11. Wagner, Todd H. & Hu, Teh-wei & Duenas, Grace V. & Pasick, Rena J., 2000. "Willingness to pay for mammography: item development and testing among five ethnic groups," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 105-121, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Pedersen, Line Bjørnskov & Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte & Kjær, Trine, 2011. "The influence of information and private versus public provision on preferences for screening for prostate cancer: A willingness-to-pay study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 277-289, August.
  2. Bernard van den Berg & Amiram Gafni & France Portrait, 2013. "Attributing a monetary value to patients’ time: A contingent valuation approach," Working Papers 090cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.


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