Stated and actual willingness to pay for spectacles in Timor-Leste

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2009 Jul-Aug;16(4):224-30. doi: 10.3109/09286580902999447.


Purpose: To conduct a survey of willingness to pay for ready-made spectacles in the low-resource country of Timor-Leste, and, uniquely, subsequent validation with actual payment information.

Methods: A systematic random sampling strategy was used to apply a binary with follow-up stated willingness to pay methodology. Findings were validated by comparing the amount declared willing to pay with the actual price paid at a subsequent visit.

Results: Of the 152 participants (96.2%; mean age 50.9 +/- 13.2 years; 50.0% female) agreeable to wearing spectacles if required, 84.9% were willing to pay for them, with 82.9% of these willing to pay at least United States dollars (USD) 0.10. By multivariate analysis, increasing age and owning fewer animals were significantly and independently associated with unwillingness to pay at least USD 0.10. Of the survey participants agreeable to wearing spectacles who attended a later visit (113/152; 74.3%; 53.1% female), the 80.5% who would benefit were offered spectacles, first for USD 1.00. If declined, this was revised to USD 0.10. If this was declined, the spectacles were dispensed, unknown to subsequent attendees, at no charge. The predictive value of stated willingness to pay at least USD 0.10 was 96.3%.

Conclusions: Binary with follow-up stated willingness to pay with validation against actual payment was successfully applied to spectacles in Timor-Leste.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness
  • Eyeglasses / economics*
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Indonesia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Presbyopia / economics*
  • Presbyopia / rehabilitation
  • Refractive Errors / economics*
  • Refractive Errors / rehabilitation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision, Low / rehabilitation