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Stakeholder engagement in designing attributes for a discrete choice experiment with policy implications: an example of two Swiss studies on healthcare delivery

Open AccessPublished:January 12, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2023.01.002
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      Highlights:

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        Attribute and attribute level development for DCE with policy relevance requires the systematic engagement of relevant stakeholders. However, there is little existing guidance and reporting standards for this process.
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        This article proposes and empirically illustrates a framework tool for developing and reporting DCE attributes and attribute levels with multiple stakeholder engagement in two settings by two independent research teams. The proposed three-stage process consists of (1) collection, (2) selection, and (3) refinement of the DCE attributes and attribute levels.

      Abstract

      Objectives

      The use of discrete choice experiments (DCE) has become increasingly popular in health policy development by involving and analysing the preferences of target groups for different aspects of the policy intervention. In this paper, we aim to contribute to the standardization of the process of attribute and attribute level development for DCEs with policy relevance. To do so, we propose and empirically illustrate a framework tool for the development and reporting of attributes and attribute levels, with the systematic engagement of relevant stakeholders.

      Method

      The framework tool was kept general, to allow its use as a standard reporting approach on the development process of a DCE, involving relevant stakeholders at each stage. The proposed three-stage process consists of (1) collection, (2) selection, and (3) refinement of the DCE attributes and attribute levels. The application of the framework tool is illustrated by the two projects, Health2040 and COCONUTS – both concerning the preferences of the Swiss population for the future organization of healthcare.

      Results

      By engaging stakeholders, we identified and included attributes and attribute levels that would not have been identified solely through the existing literature. Additionally, including multiple stakeholders from different professional backgrounds ensured that the selected attributes and attribute levels were policy relevant, applicable in practice, and reflected the opinions of multiple actors in healthcare.

      Conclusion

      The proposed framework helps to strengthen the standardisation of the reporting on attribute and attribute level development with stakeholder engagement, and to guide future research teams designing a DCE with policy implications.

      Keywords