Let’s Think for a Minute: Do Respondents Need Time to Deliberate When Undertaking Health State Valuation Exercises?

Perth, Western Australia – Increasingly, economic analyses are being used to make decisions on how to pay for new medicines and health care practices. Measuring and valuing quality of life are key components of economic analysis but, surprisingly, we know little about how valid and reliable these commonly used methods are. There is growing concern that instant responses to a survey question do not reflect people’s preferences as well as considered, reflective responses, and that the sharing of information, experience and deliberation may be a mechanism that allows respondents to make a more considered decision.

In the article, “Does the Process of Deliberation Change Individuals’ Health State Valuations? An Exploratory Study Using the Person Trade-Off Technique,” published in Value in Health, Associate Professor Suzanne Robinson (Curtin University) and Professor Stirling Bryan (University of British Columbia), call for a change in approach when conducting valuation work.

This study investigated the use of deliberative practices – that is, giving people time to consider and discuss what living life in a particular disease state would be like. The authors wanted to know if, when given an opportunity for deliberation, people changed their responses and consequently, what their views were on the process.

The results were surprising: 74% of participants changed their responses following discussion and deliberation. This had an impact on the overall average valuations. The qualitative analysis supports to the notion that individuals need time to construct their preferences and raises concerns over the validity and reliability of current preference elicitation practices. The authors call for more focused research in this area.


Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

For more information: www.ispor.org

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