What works better for preference elicitation among older people? Cognitive burden of discrete choice experiment and case 2 best-worst scaling in an online setting


To appropriately weight dimensions of quality of life instruments for health economic evalua- tions, population and patient preferences need to be elicited. Two commonly used elicitation methods for this purpose are discrete choice experiments (DCE) and case 2 best-worst scaling (BWS). These methods differ in terms of their cognitive burden, which is especially relevant when eliciting preferences among older people. Using a randomised experiment with respondents from an online panel, this paper examines the cognitive burden associated with colour-coded and level overlapped DCE, colour-coded BWS, and ‘standard’ BWS choice tasks in a complex health state valuation setting. Our sample included 469 individuals aged 65 and above. Based on both revealed and stated cognitive burden, we found that the DCE tasks were less cognitively burdensome than case 2 BWS. Colour coding case 2 BWS cannot be recommended as its effect on cognitive burden was less clear and the colour coding lead to undesired choice heuristics. Our results have implications for future health state valuations of complex quality of life instruments and at least serve as an example of assessing cognitive burden associated with different types of choice experiments.

In Journal of Choice Modelling

Data and code will be made available shortly.

Sebastian Himmler
Sebastian Himmler
Health Economics PhD candidate

My research interests include health and well-being, applied health economics and econometrics and health preference research.