Preference methods to support decision making


A recent publication identifies 13 patient preference elicitation and exploration methods that are can support medical product decision making. The study has characterised and appraised different methods. The result is a comprehensive overview based on empirical evidence of the usefulness of different methods for decisions at different stages of the medical product life cycle.

The 13 methods identified are likely to meet most decision-maker needs throughout the medical product life cycle, but authors also identified another 8 that have potential for certain stages of the medical product life cycle.

“There is a lack of comprehensive comparisons between methods used for patient preference elicitation and exploration. We wanted to change that and hope our findings will help guide decision makers to the methods that will be most useful to them” says Chiara Whichello, one of the authors.

With a transparent, weighted approach to comparing methods, the authors hope their results will help support decision-makers and researchers in selecting patient preference methods that are appropriate for their intended application.

Promising methods include…

  • Adaptive conjoint analysis
  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Best-worst scaling 1
  • Best-worst scaling 2
  • Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) / Best-worst scaling 3
  • Focus groups
  • In-depth interviews
  • (Probabilistic) hreshold technique
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Standard gamble
  • Swing weighting
  • Time trade-off
  • Visual analogue scale

Explore PREFER publications

By Anna Holm

Whichello C, Levitan B, Juhaeri J, Patadia V, DiSantostefano R, Pinto CA, de Bekker-Grob EW, Appraising patient preference methods for decision-making in the medical product lifecycle: an empirical comparison, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 2020; 20; 114,

Last modified: 2021-11-10