Discrete-choice experiments versus rating scale exercises to evaluate the importance of attributes

B.F.M. Wijnen*, I.M. van der Putten, S. Groothuis, R.J.A. de Kinderen, C.Y.G. Noben, A.T.G. Paulus, B.L.T. Ramaekers, G.C.W.M. Vogel, M. Hiligsmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: To examine the difference between discrete-choice experiments (DCE) and rating scale exercises (RSE) in determining the most important attributes using a case study. Methods: Undergraduate health sciences students were asked to complete a DCE and a RSE. Six potentially important attributes were identified in focus groups. Fourteen unlabelled choice tasks were constructed using a statistically efficient design. Mixed multinomial logistic regression analysis was used for DCE data analysis. Results: In total, 254 undergraduate students filled out the questionnaire. In the DCE, only four attributes were statistically significant, whereas in the RSE, all attributes except one were rated four or higher. Conclusion: Attribute importance differs between DCE and RSE. The DCE had a differentiating effect on the relative importance of the attributes; however, determining relative importance using DCE should be done with caution as a lack of statistically significant difference between levels does not necessarily imply that the attribute is not important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-728
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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