Identifying program preferences through conjoint analysis: illustrative results from a parent sample

Am J Health Promot. 1993 Nov-Dec;8(2):124-33. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-8.2.124.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to illustrate the application of conjoint analysis, a consumer research technique, using data from a survey of parents' preferences for prevention programs.

Design: This study utilized a one-time, cross-sectional telephone survey.

Setting: Data were collected from subjects living in economically disadvantaged rural midwestern counties.

Subjects: Subjects were 202 randomly selected parents with preadolescents who indicated interest in family-focused prevention programs.

Measures: Conjoint analysis software was employed in computer-assisted telephone interviews to evaluate relative preferences for 39 individual features of family-focused prevention programs falling under 11 categories (e.g., program meeting time, facilitator background). The software also guided computer simulations of parent choices among four types of programs.

Results: Findings indicated that meeting time was the most important category of program features. Strongly preferred individual features included meetings scheduled on weekday evenings, instruction by child development specialists, and programs based on extensive research. Two multiple-session programs evaluated via computer simulations incorporated several preferred features and received higher ratings than did single-session programs. Estimated variance z-tests indicated limited differences in perceived importance of program feature categories across sociodemographic subgroups.

Conclusions: Findings highlight a) differences in the relative value parents place on various features of prevention programs in the surveyed population and b) the importance of practical aspects of program delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Choice Behavior
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Parents
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Research Design
  • Surveys and Questionnaires