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Soc Sci Med. 2004 Apr;58(7):1257-69.

The impact of information on non-health attributes on willingness to pay for multiple health care programmes.

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School of Population and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, UK.


Despite the acceptance that health gain is the most important attribute of health care, other aspects of health care may affect utility. The aim of this paper is to report an experiment to test the impact of providing different levels of information in the context of the EuroWill study, a joint contingent valuation (CV) of multiple health programmes. Three hundred and three respondents were simultaneously asked for their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for three health care programmes: more heart operations, a new breast cancer treatment and a helicopter ambulance service. To test for the impact of variation in information, three versions of one of the programmes (heart) were provided. Results show that WTP for all three programmes tended to be significantly higher for respondents who were provided additional positive information about the heart programme. Our results show that CV of health care programmes, which only take into account medical outcomes, may lead to the value of such programmes not being adequately estimated, and that the impact of information may even be more decisive in the context of joint evaluation of multiple, rather than single, programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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