A discrete choice experiment to assess patients' preferences for HIV treatment in the rural population in Colombia

Anne J. M. Goossens, Kei Long Cheung, Eric Sijstermans, Rafael Conde, Javier G. R. Gonzalez, Mickael Hiligsmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: To elicit patients’ preferences for HIV treatment of the rural population in Colombia. Methods: A discrete choice experiment (DCE), conducted in a HIV clinic in Bogotá, was used to examine the trade-off between five HIV treatment attributes: effect on life expectancy, effect on physical activity, risk of moderate side-effects, accessibility to clinic, and economic costs to access controls. Attributes selection was based on literature review, expert consultation and a focus group with six patients. An efficient experimental design was used to define two versions of the questionnaire with each of 12 choice sets and a dominance task was added to check reliability. A mixed logit model was then used to analyse the data and sub-group analyses were conducted on the basis of age, gender, education, and sexual preference. Results: A total of 129 HIV patients were included for analysis. For all treatment attributes, significant differences between at least two levels were observed, meaning that all attributes were significant predictors of choice. Patients valued the effect on physical activity (conditional relative importance of 27.5%) and the effect on life expectancy (26.0%) the most. Sub-group analyses regard age and education showed significant differences: younger patients and high educated patients valued the effect on physical activity the most important, whereas older patients mostly valued the effect on life expectancy and low educated patients mostly valued the accessibility to clinic. Limitations: One potential limitation is selection bias, as only patients from one HIV clinic were reached. Additionally, questionnaires were partly administered in the waiting rooms, which potentially led to noise in the data. Conclusions: This study suggests that all HIV treatment characteristics included in this DCE were important and that HIV patients from rural Colombia valued short-term efficacy (i.e. effect on physical activity) and long-term efficacy (i.e. effect on life expectancy) the most.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-811
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2020


  • Discrete choice experiment
  • patient preference
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • treatment
  • rural population
  • Colombia
  • Bogota
  • conjoint analysis

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