Comparing Analytic Hierarchy Process and Discrete-Choice Experiment to Elicit Patient Preferences for Treatment Characteristics in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Marion Danner*, Vera Vennedey, Mickaeel Hiligsmann, Sascha Fauser, Christian Gross, Stephanie Stock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: In this study, we conducted an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to elicit the preferences of patients with age-related macular degeneration using identical attributes and levels. Objectives: To compare preference based weights for age-related macular degeneration treatment attributes and levels generated by two elicitation methods. The properties of both methods were assessed, including ease of instrument use. Methods: A DCE and an AHP experiment were designed on the basis of five attributes. Preference-based weights were generated using the matrix multiplication method for attributes and levels in AHP and a mixed multinomial logit model for levels in the DCE. Attribute importance was further compared using coefficient (DCE) and weight (AHP) level ranges. The questionnaire difficulty was rated on a qualitative scale. Patients were asked to think aloud while providing their judgments. Results: AHP and DCE generated similar results regarding levels, stressing a preference for visual improvement, frequent monitoring, on-demand and less frequent injection schemes, approved drugs, and mild side effects. Attribute weights derived on the basis of level ranges led to a ranking that was opposite to the AHP directly calculated attribute weights. For example, visual function ranked first in the AHP and last on the basis of level ranges. Conclusions: The results across the methods were similar, with one exception: the directly measured AHP attribute weights were different from the level-based interpretation of attribute importance in both DCE and AHP. The dependence/independence of attribute importance on level ranges in DCE and AHP, respectively, should be taken into account when choosing a method to support decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1173
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • age-related macular degeneration
  • analytic hierarchy process
  • convergent validity
  • discrete choice experiment
  • patient preference(s)

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