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

  • 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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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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