Measuring trade-offs in nephrology: a systematic review of discrete choice experiments and conjoint analysis studies

Michael D Clark, Ala Szczepura, Anil Gumber, Kirsten Howard, Domenico Moro, Rachael L Morton

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Discrete choice experiment (DCE), conjoint analysis or adaptive conjoint analysis methods are increasingly applied to obtain patient, clinician or community preferences in nephrology. This study systematically reviews the above-mentioned published choice studies providing an overview of the issues addressed, methods and findings.

Methods: Choice studies relating to nephrology were identified using electronic databases, including Medline, Embase, PsychINFO and Econlit from 1990 to 2015. For inclusion in the review, studies had to primarily relate to kidney disease and include results from statistical (econometric) analyses of respondents’ choice or preference. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were assessed against a range of systematic review criteria, and methods and results summarized.

Results: We identified 14 eligible studies from Europe, Australasia, North America and Asia, reporting preferences for treatment or screening, patient experiences, quality of life (QOL), health outcomes and priority-setting frameworks. Specific contexts included medical interventions in kidney transplantation and renal cell carcinoma, health policies for organ donation and allocation, dialysis modalities and end-of-life care, using a variety of statistical models. The characteristics of ‘time’ (i.e. transplant waiting time, dialysis hours, transport time) and QOL (pre- and post-transplant, or pre- and post-dialysis) consistently influenced patient and clinician preferences across the choice studies.

Conclusions: DCE are increasingly used to obtain information about key preferences in kidney transplantation and dialysis. These study methods provide quantitative information about respondents’ trade-offs between conflicting clinical and policy objectives, and can establish how preferences vary among stakeholder groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number2
Early online date1 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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