Putting the Choice in Choice Tasks: Incorporating Preference Elicitation Tasks in Health Preference Research

Jennifer A. Whitty*, Emily Lancsar, Richard De Abreu Lourenco, Kirsten Howard, Elly A. Stolk

*Corresponding author for this work

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Choice-based preference elicitation methods such as the discrete choice experiment (DCE) present hypothetical choices to respondents, with an expectation that these hypothetical choices accurately reflect a ‘real world’ health-related decision context and that consequently the choice data can be held to be a true representation of the respondent’s health or treatment preferences. For this to be the case, careful consideration needs to be given to the format of the choice task in a choice experiment. The overarching aim of this paper is to highlight important aspects to consider when designing and ‘setting up’ the choice tasks to be presented to respondents in a DCE. This includes the importance of considering the potential impact of format (e.g. choice context, choice set presentation and size) as well as choice set content (e.g. labelled and unlabelled choice sets and inclusion of reference alternatives) and choice questions (stated choice versus additional questions designed to explore complete preference orders) on the preference estimates that are elicited from studies. We endeavoure to instil a holistic approach to choice task design that considers format alongside content, experimental design and analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2024

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© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024.


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