A role for conjoint analysis in technology assessment in health care?

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1999 Summer;15(3):443-57.


The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the use of conjoint analysis (CA) in health services research. Conjoint analysis is first explained, with emphasis on the history of the technique, followed by an explanation of how to carry out such a study and how the results from such a study can be used. The technique is demonstrated with reference to a study that looks at the benefits of in vitro fertilization. It is shown how CA can be used to estimate the relative importance of attributes, the trade-offs individuals make between these attributes, willingness to pay if cost is included as an attribute, and utility or benefit scores for different ways of providing a service. The paper then considers the potential advantages of CA over other, more commonly used benefit assessment instruments. Finally, there is discussion of the issues raised in the design and analysis of CA studies. It is concluded that these issues must be addressed before the technique becomes an established instrument for technology assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods*