Applying discrete social experiments in social care research

Tinelli M


Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) have been widely used by economists to elicit people’s values in a number of areas, including market, transport and environmental issues. The last two decades have seen an increasing use of the technique in health economics, and it is beginning to be applied in social care and related research.

This review aims to help social care researchers, policymakers and practitioners make the best use of DCEs to value preferences in social care settings. It discusses what DCE is, what you can do with it, and its use to incorporate informal care in economic evaluations.

It also describes the key stages of developing a DCE for social care and presents a comprehensive search of the literature to identify and describe DCE applications to social care. Some of the important challenges of applying DCEs to social care are identified, and the need for further methodological development is discussed.

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