Using Conjoint Analysis to Assess Patients' Preferences When Visiting Emergency Departments in Hong Kong

Acad Emerg Med. 2001 Sep;8(9):894-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2001.tb01151.x.


Objectives: To explore factors related to emergency department (ED) attendances in Hong Kong, the authors piloted the application of conjoint analysis in eliciting patient preferences regarding ED visits.

Methods: The study recruited 390 semi-urgent or non-urgent patients from a targeted convenience sample of three large EDs. Respondents were asked to rank eight scenarios structured to explore the relative importance of three key attributes-self-perceived illness severity, waiting time, and consultation fee-that may result in an ED visit.

Results: Seventy-eight percent of the respondents would consider visiting a parallel clinic instead of the ED for semi-urgent and non-urgent conditions. The relative importance attached to illness severity, waiting time, and consultation fee were 47.8%, 33.6%, and 18.7%, respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that Hong Kong patients are receptive to the concept of parallel clinics, and illustrated that conjoint analysis is a rigorous survey technique for eliciting the views of patients on health care services in the ED setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Insurance, Health
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors