The Predictive Value of Discrete Choice Experiments in Public Health: An Exploratory Application

Patient. 2015 Dec;8(6):521-9. doi: 10.1007/s40271-015-0115-2.


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the predictive value of a discrete choice experiment (DCE) in public health by comparing stated preferences to actual behavior.

Methods: 780 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients received a questionnaire, containing a DCE with five attributes related to T2DM patients' willingness to participate in a combined lifestyle intervention. Panel mixed-multinomial-logit models were used to estimate the stated preferences based on 206 completed DCE questionnaires. Actual participation status was retrieved for 54 respondents based on patients' medical records and a second questionnaire. Predicted and actual behavior data were compared at population level and at individual level.

Results: Based on the estimated utility function, 81.8% of all answers that individual respondents provided on the choice tasks were predicted correctly. The actual participation rate at the aggregated population level was minimally underestimated (70.1 vs. 75.9%). Of all individual choices, 74.1% were predicted correctly with a positive predictive value of 0.80 and a negative predictive value of 0.44.

Conclusion: Stated preferences derived from a DCE can adequately predict actual behavior in a public health setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health / methods*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices