Our objective was to develop and test a discrete-choice experiment (DCE) survey to elicit adolescent and parent preferences for dental care for hypodontia (a developmental condition where one or more teeth fail to develop).
This was a mixed-methods study. Participants were adolescents (aged 12–16 years) with hypodontia and their parents and the dentists providing hypodontia care. Stage one entailed attribute development, as follows. (1) Attribute identification: systematic review of hypodontia literature; interviews with adolescents with hypodontia (n = 8) and parents (n = 8); observation of hypodontia clinical consultations (n = 5); environmental scan of hypodontia patient information resources (n = 30); and systematic analysis of social media posts (n = 176). (2) Attribute selection: stakeholder consultation to develop items for a questionnaire; rating and ranking questionnaire for adolescents with hypodontia and parents (n = 18); further stakeholder consultation. Stage two involved the development of the DCE survey, and stage three included the pre-testing using cognitive interviews with adolescents (n = 12) and parents (n = 8) to assess face and content validity.
The attribute long list included 27 attributes focusing on service delivery and treatment outcome, from which seven ‘important’ attributes were selected for pre-testing. Cognitive interviewing suggested adolescents found the DCE choice tasks challenging to understand; the survey was modified to enhance its acceptability. One attribute was excluded as it showed poor validity with adolescents. Pre-testing suggested DCE choice tasks encouraged thinking and discussion about preferences for treatment.
Including the target respondent group in all stages of DCE development ensured the final DCE survey was valid and acceptable. DCE methods appear to be a useful tool for exploring joint decision making alongside conventional preference elicitation.
Barber, S., Bekker, H., Marti, J., Pavitt, S., Khambay, B., & Meads, D. (2019). Development of a Discrete-Choice Experiment (DCE) to Elicit Adolescent and Parent Preferences for Hypodontia Treatment. The Patient-Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 12(1), 137-148.