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Systematic review and validity assessment of methods used in discrete choice experiments of primary healthcare professionals


  • Gregory Merlo

    (University of Queensland
    University of Queensland)

  • Mieke Driel

    (University of Queensland)

  • Lisa Hall

    (University of Queensland
    University of Queensland)


Introduction Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) have been used to measure patient and healthcare professionals preferences in a range of settings internationally. Using DCEs in primary care is valuable for determining how to improve rational shared decision making. The purpose of this systematic review is to assess the validity of the methods used for DCEs assessing the decision making of healthcare professionals in primary care. Main body A systematic search was conducted to identify articles with original data from a discrete choice experiment where the population was primary healthcare professionals. All publication dates from database inception to 29th February 2020 were included. A data extraction and validity assessment template based on guidelines was used. After screening, 34 studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review. The sample sizes of the DCEs ranged from 10 to 3727. The published DCEs often provided insufficient detail about the process of determining the attributes and levels. The majority of the studies did not involve primary care healthcare professionals outside of the research team in attribute identification and selection. Less than 80% of the DCEs were piloted and few papers investigated internal or external validity. Conclusions For findings to translate into improvements in rational shared decision making in primary care DCEs need to be internally and externally valid and the findings need to be able to be communicated to stakeholders in a way that is understandable and relevant.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Merlo & Mieke Driel & Lisa Hall, 2020. "Systematic review and validity assessment of methods used in discrete choice experiments of primary healthcare professionals," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:10:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-020-00295-8
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-020-00295-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 11th January 2021
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-01-11 12:00:06


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