How do people with experience of infertility value different aspects of assistive reproductive therapy? Results from a multi-country discrete choice experiment

Chris Skedgel, Eleanor Ralphs, Elaine Finn, Marie Markert, Carl Samuelsen, Jennifer A. Whitty

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Objectives: Assistive reproductive therapies can help those who have difficulty conceiving but different forms of assistive reproductive therapies are associated with different treatment characteristics. We undertook a large, multinational discrete choice experiment to understand patient preferences for assistive reproductive therapies.  

Methods: We administered an online discrete choice experiment with persons who had experience with subfertility or assistive reproductive therapies in the USA, UK, the Nordic region (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland), Spain, and China. Attributes encouraged trade-offs between effectiveness, risk of adverse effects, treatment (dis)comfort, (in)convenience, cost per cycle and shared decision making. We used multinomial logit and mixed-logit models to estimate preferences and attribute importance by country/region, and estimated willingness to pay for changes in attribute levels.  

Results: A total of 7565 respondents participated. Mixed logit had a better fit than multinomial logit across all samples. Preferences moved in expected directions across all samples, but the relative importance of attributes differed between countries. Willingness to pay was greatest for improvements in effectiveness and a greater degree of shared decision making, and we observe a substantial ‘option value’ independent of treatment characteristics. Unexpectedly, preferences over cost were insignificant in the Chinese sample, limiting the use of willingness to pay in this sample.  

Conclusions: Respondents balanced concerns for effectiveness with other considerations, including the cost and (dis)comfort of treatment, and the degree of shared decision making, but there is also substantial option value independent of treatment characteristics, demonstrating value of assistive reproductive therapies to individuals with experience of subfertility. We hypothesise that price insensitivity in the Chinese sample may reflect a degree of social desirability bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459–472
Number of pages14
JournalThe Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Issue number4
Early online date23 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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