Heidenreich S, Boeri M, Hess S, Janssen E. Accounting for preference heterogeneity in stated preference studies: moving from methods to practice to decision making – the issue of developing useful guidance. Presentation to be given at the Virtual ISPOR 2021 Conference; May 2021.


ISSUE: Stated-preference methods typically quantify trade-offs that patients, or other stakeholders are willing to make between treatment aspects. While many health preference studies focus on the interpretation of averages, understanding how preferences differ between subjects can be valuable for decision making. For example, the FDA guidelines on patient preference information (PPI) state: “PPI may help identify a subgroup of patients [...] who may consider the benefit-risk profile of a medical intervention favorable [...].” A range of methods has been developed to account for such preference heterogeneity. However, the increasing number of complex approaches and the technical as well as practical issues surrounding them, can be challenging for both practitioners and decision makers. This concern is supported by a recent survey conducted by ISPOR’s Health Preference Research SIG, in which 60 out of 70 (92%) surveyed preference researchers stated that more guidance is needed.

OVERVIEW: The panel will debate the relevance of accounting for preference heterogeneity, practical considerations and challenges. The aim will be to identify how guidance can address the needs of different stakeholders, including decision makers. Sebastian Heidenreich will moderate the panel and contextualize the discussion using a recent survey conducted by a working group of the ISPOR Health Preference Research SIG. Marco Boeri will discuss the current state of practice in accounting for preference heterogeneity presenting findings from a systematic review of the health discrete choice literature that was conducted by the ISPOR working group. Ellen Janssen will outline the relevance of understanding preference heterogeneity for decision making and outline gaps in current practice. Stephane Hess will give an overview of best-practices, research needs, and challenges in analysis, interpretation and reporting of preference heterogeneity. All panelists will make clear recommendations for developing guidance that will be discussed with the audience via interactive polls and a Q&A session.

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