Stated-preference methods are a class of evaluation techniques for studying the preferences of patients and other stakeholders. While these methods span a variety of techniques, conjoint-analysis methods-and particularly discrete-choice experiments (DCEs)-have become the most frequently applied approach in health care in recent years. Experimental design is an important stage in the development of such methods, but establishing a consensus on standards is hampered by lack of understanding of available techniques and software. This report builds on the previous ISPOR Conjoint Analysis Task Force Report: Conjoint Analysis Applications in Health-A Checklist: A Report of the ISPOR Good Research Practices for Conjoint Analysis Task Force. This report aims to assist researchers specifically in evaluating alternative approaches to experimental design, a difficult and important element of successful DCEs. While this report does not endorse any specific approach, it does provide a guide for choosing an approach that is appropriate for a particular study. In particular, it provides an overview of the role of experimental designs for the successful implementation of the DCE approach in health care studies, and it provides researchers with an introduction to constructing experimental designs on the basis of study objectives and the statistical model researchers have selected for the study. The report outlines the theoretical requirements for designs that identify choice-model preference parameters and summarizes and compares a number of available approaches for constructing experimental designs. The task-force leadership group met via bimonthly teleconferences and in person at ISPOR meetings in the United States and Europe. An international group of experimental-design experts was consulted during this process to discuss existing approaches for experimental design and to review the task force's draft reports. In addition, ISPOR members contributed to developing a consensus report by submitting written comments during the review process and oral comments during two forum presentations at the ISPOR 16th and 17th Annual International Meetings held in Baltimore (2011) and Washington, DC (2012).
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