Response patterns in health state valuation using endogenous attribute attendance and latent class analysis
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Not accounting for simplifying decision-making heuristics when modelling data from discrete choice experiments has been shown potentially to lead to biased inferences. This study considers two ways of exploring the presence of attribute non-attendance (that is, respondents considering only a subset of the attributes that define the choice options) in a health state valuation discrete choice experiment. The methods used include the latent class (LC) and endogenous attribute attendance (EAA) models, which both required adjustment to reflect the structure of the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) framework for valuing health outcomes. We find that explicit consideration of attendance patterns substantially improves model fit. The impact of allowing for non-attendance on the estimated QALY weights is dependent on the assumed source of non-attendance. If non-attendance is interpreted as a form of preference heterogeneity, then the inferences from the LC and EAA models are similar to those from standard models, while if respondents ignore attributes to simplify the choice task, the QALY weights differ from those using the standard approach. Because the cause of non-attendance is unknown in the absence of additional data, a policymaker may use the range of weights implied by the two approaches to conduct a sensitivity analysis.
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