The Order Of Preference Assessment Method Matters

South Bend, IN, USA – Cost-utility analysis is a common method for economic evaluation used to compare health care interventions. Standard gamble and time trade-off are two methods often both used for assessing the strength of an individual’s preferences (utility values) needed in such studies.

A recent study, “The Utility Assessment Method Order Influences Measurement of Parents’ Risk Attitude”, published in Value in Health used data from more than 4000 parent interviews to determine whether the order in which the two methods are applied impacts the measured preference. The study was co-authored by Drs. Maria Finnell, Aaron Carroll and Stephen Downs at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dr. Finnell says, “Our study shows that the order in which the standard gamble versus time trade-off method is used strongly influences the relative values of the measured preferences from parents. Our respondents, for example, appeared to be more willing to take risks to avoid a particular condition if the standard gamble method was applied first. Researchers should be aware of this impact on the measurements when comparing results from different studies. Whether there is a right or wrong order to use these two methods is yet to be determined.”

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.

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