Background: The application of conjoint analysis methods (a general term spanning discrete choice experiments and other stated-preference methods) in health has increased rapidly over the past decade, yet broad acceptance of these methods is hindered by the variation in methods, terminology, and quality across these applications due to the lack of any clear and consistent methodological standards.
Objective: The ISPOR Conjoint Analysis Good Research Practices Task Force was established to identify good research practices in the application of conjoint analysis in health. In this paper the Task Force presents a conceptualization of, and guidance for, good research practices for authors, reviews, and readers of conjoint analysis applications in health and medicine.
Methods: The Task Force met regularly over the course of 24 months to identify the important stages of a conjoint analysis, to discuss good research practices for conjoint analysis, and to develop and refine the key criteria for identifying good research practices. ISPOR members contributed to this process through participation in multiple sessions at ISPOR conferences, presentations at the first and second Conjoint Analysis in Health Conferences, and via the ISPOR web site. The final set of good research practices is presented in the form of a checklist illustrated with stylized examples or with practical examples from the literature.
Results: Task Force findings are presented as a ten-item checklist, modeled on the iconic checklist by Drummond and colleagues for cost-effectiveness analysis, covering: i. Research question; ii. Attributes and levels; iii. Construction of tasks; iv. Experimental design; v. Preference elicitation; vi. Instrument design; vii. Data collection plan; viii. Statistical analyses; ix. Results and conclusions; and x. Study presentation.
Conclusions: The conjoint analysis checklist provides a framework for both assessing and improving the quality of conjoint analysis applications in health and medicine. Future work of the ISPOR Conjoint Analysis Good Research Practices Task Force will focus on specific guidance for the design, analysis, and interpretation of conjoint analysis applications in health. We will also focus on the role of conjoint analysis and related methods for identifying and valuing patient-relevant outcomes and focus on standardizing and documenting the vast array of terms used in the application of conjoint analysis.
ISPOR Conjoint Analysis in Health Task Force Report