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Structural reliability of conjoint measurement in health care: an empirical investigation

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This paper is concerned with the structural reliability of conjoint measurement when applied in a health care setting. The clinical context was the diagnosis and treatment of knee injuries. A conjoint measurement study was conducted which used the pairwise choice approach to preference elicitation. Each choice included two scenarios: a conventional treatment approach to management (arthroscopy) and an approach using magnetic resonance imaging. In order to test for structural reliability two separate conjoint measurement exercises were conducted: exercise A where scenarios were defined in terms of three attributes and exercise B where scenarios included all four attributes. The assessment of structural reliability involved a comparison of two random effects probit models, for exercises A and B. Data were collected on a total of 176 students of sports science. The results strongly indicate that the models for the two exercises are different, although the instability is limited to the constant term and a single model attribute (i.e. the avoidance of surgery). The finding of instability in the constant coefficient raises important questions about the appropriateness of labelling scenarios in conjoint measurement exercises.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-03-20

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