Willingness to Pay and Discrete Choice Experiments: alternatives to satisfaction surveys

Authors: Hundley, V. and Ryan, M.

Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery

Volume: 1

Pages: 32-35

ISSN: 1479-4489


There are a number of problems with using satisfaction surveys to assess women’s views of maternity care. In this paper we discuss two alternatives to satisfaction surveys; willingness to pay (WTP) and discrete choice experiments (DCEs). These techniques come from the discipline of health economics and are useful techniques for determining the strength of women’s preferences. WTP can be used to look at the overall value of a given intervention, while the DCE approach is an attribute-based measure, indicating the contribution of individual characteristics of a service to the overall value. If cost is included as an attribute, this technique can also be used to estimate willingness to pay indirectly. We use recent examples from the maternity services and other fields to illustrate the two methods and demonstrate how they can be used to inform priority setting. Both WTP and DCEs are potentially useful tools for maternity care researchers. However, further research is required to confirm the validity of the techniques in the field of maternity care.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Vanora Hundley