Unravelling the concept of consumer preference: Implications for health policy and optimal planning in primary care
Accounting for consumer preference in health policy and delivery system design makes good economic sense since this is linked to outcomes, quality of care and cost control. Probability trade-off methods are commonly used in policy evaluation, marketing and economics. Increasingly applied to health matters, the trade-off preference model has indicated that consumers of health care discriminate between different attributes of care. However, the complexities of the health decision-making environment raise questions about the inherent assumptions concerning choice and decision-making behavior which frame this view of consumer preference. In this article, we use the example of primary care in Australia as a vehicle to examine the concept of 'consumer preference' from different perspectives within economics and discuss the significance of how we model preferences for health policy makers. In doing so, we question whether mainstream thinking, namely that consumers are capable of deliberating between rival strategies and are willing to make trade-offs, is a reliable way of thinking about preferences given the complexities of the health decision-making environment. Alternative perspectives on preference can assist health policy makers and health providers by generating more precise information about the important attributes of care that are likely to enhance consumer engagement and optimise acceptability of health care.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Callahan, Daniel, 2008. "Consumer-directed health care: promise or puffery?," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 301-311, July.
- Tony Lawson, 2006. "The nature of heterodox economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 483-505, July.
- Schoen, Cathy & Davis, Karen & DesRoches, Catherine & Donelan, Karen & Blendon, Robert, 2000. "Health insurance markets and income inequality: findings from an international health policy survey," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 67-85, March.
- Peter E. Earl & Jason Potts, 2004. "The market for preferences," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 619-633, July.
- G. Salkeld & M. Ryan & L. Short, 2000. "The veil of experience: do consumers prefer what they know best?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(3), pages 267-270.
- Rowe, Gene & Lambert, Nigel & Bowling, Ann & Ebrahim, Shah & Wakeling, Ian & Thomson, Richard, 2005. "Assessing patients' preferences for treatments for angina using a modified repertory grid method," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2585-2595, June.
- Negrín, Miguel A. & Pinilla, Jaime & León, Carmelo J., 2008. "Willingness to pay for alternative policies for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-275, July.
- Scott, Anthony & Watson, M. Stuart & Ross, Sue, 2003. "Eliciting preferences of the community for out of hours care provided by general practitioners: a stated preference discrete choice experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 803-814, February.
- Scott, Anthony & Vick, Sandra, 1999. "Patients, Doctors and Contracts: An Application of Principal-Agent Theory to the Doctor-Patient Relationship," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(2), pages 111-134, May.
- Emily Lancsar & Jordan Louviere, 2006. "Deleting 'irrational' responses from discrete choice experiments: a case of investigating or imposing preferences?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 797-811.
- Alison P. Lenton & Amanda Stewart, 2008. "Changing her ways: The number of options and mate-standard strength impact mate choice strategy and satisfaction," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3(7), pages 501-511, October.
- Drakopoulos, S A, 1994. " Hierarchical Choice in Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 133-153, June.
- Kurt Dopfer, 2004. "The economic agent as rule maker and rule user: Homo Sapiens Oeconomicus," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 177-195, 06.
- Baker, Rachel Mairi, 2006. "Economic rationality and health and lifestyle choices for people with diabetes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2341-2353, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:97:y:2010:i:2-3:p:105-112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)or ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.