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Med Decis Making. 2018 Apr;38(3):306-318. doi: 10.1177/0272989X17738754. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

How Should Discrete Choice Experiments with Duration Choice Sets Be Presented for the Valuation of Health States?

Author information

Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Office of Health Economics, London, England.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
PHMR, London, England.



Discrete Choice Experiments including duration (DCETTO) can be used to generate utility values for health states from measures such as EQ-5D-5L. However, methodological issues concerning the optimum way to present choice sets remain. The aim of the present study was to test a range of task presentation approaches designed to support the DCETTO completion process.


Four separate presentation approaches were developed to examine different task features including dimension level highlighting, and health state severity and duration level presentation. Choice sets included 2 EQ-5D-5L states paired with 1 of 4 duration levels, and a third "immediate death" option. The same design, including 120 choice sets (developed using optimal methods), was employed across all approaches. The online survey was administered to a sample of the Australian population who completed 20 choice sets across 2 approaches. Conditional logit regression was used to assess model consistency, and scale parameter testing investigated poolability.


Overall 1,565 respondents completed the survey. Three approaches, using different dimension level highlighting techniques, produced mainly monotonic coefficients that resulted in a larger disutility as the severity level increased (excepting usual activities levels 2/3). The fourth approach, using a level indicator to present the severity levels, has slightly more non-monotonicity and produced larger ordered differences for the more severe dimension levels. Scale parameter testing suggested that the data cannot be pooled.


The results provide information regarding how to present DCE tasks for health state valuation. The findings improve our understanding of the impact of different presentation approaches on valuation, and how DCE questions could be presented to be amenable to completion. However, it is unclear if the task presentation impacts online respondent engagement.


EQ-5D; discrete choice experiment; health state valuation; utilities

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