ISPOR Publishes New Guidance on Designing and Conducting Patient Preference Studies

Published Feb 13, 2023

A Good Practices Report of the ISPOR Task Force on Using Patient Preferences to Inform Decision Making

Value in HealthLawrenceville, NJ, USA—February 13, 2023—Value in Health, the official journal of ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research, announced today the publication of an ISPOR Good Practices Report advancing recommendations to assist researchers and other stakeholders in designing, conducting, and disseminating patient-preference studies. It introduces the ISPOR Roadmap for Patient Preferences in Decision Making, which illustrates 5 important areas where patient-preference researchers should work with stakeholders. The report, “A Roadmap for Increasing the Usefulness and Impact of Patient-Preference Studies in Decision Making in Health: A Good Practices Report of an ISPOR Task Force,” was published in the February 2023 issue of Value in Health.

“Patient preference studies are important because they promote patient centricity by engaging directly with real patients to inform the tradeoffs they are willing to make with treatment risks versus benefits. Patient preferences are also important to understand how patients value nonhealth outcomes. At the population level, patient preference research informs healthcare value assessments, resource allocation, public health programs, and shared decision making” said the report’s lead author John F. P. Bridges, PhD, Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, USA. “Our goal was to make these studies more helpful for decision makers such as health technology assessors, government regulators, and payers.” 

The ISPOR Roadmap highlights how that usefulness and impact will be maximized when patient-preference researchers work with decision makers, patients and patient groups, and other stakeholders across 5 key areas: (1) Context; (2) Purpose; (3) Population; (4) Method; and (5) Impact. The ISPOR Roadmap is methods agnostic and will aid researchers and improve studies regardless of the preference method used.   

Although the authors conceptualize the construct as a roadmap, they do not intend to suggest that it must be followed linearly. Rather, these are 5 broad considerations that can help those conducting preference research to enhance the likelihood of impacting decision making and being able to identify the impacts (both intended and unintended) that their studies have made.

The report also includes a set of key questions that can guide researchers who are conducting patient-preference studies and support the critical appraisal of studies across each of the 5 elements. These questions help guide researchers and other stakeholders (eg, funders, reviewers, readers, etc) as they assess efforts that promote the ongoing impact of a particular preference study and additional studies in the future.

“ISPOR has long been a leader in the creation of consensus-based methodological good practice guidance to study patient preference,” noted Bridges. “In fact, the 3 previously published reports are among the most used and widely cited Good Practices Reports that ISPOR has ever produced and published. The ISPOR Roadmap is designed to add to that earlier work and to enhance the policy relevance of patient-preference studies by providing guidance for including the decision makers’ perspective in study design as well as tools to critically appraise patient-preference studies based on their relevance to decisions.”

This report was accompanied by an editorial from Julia F. Slejko, PhD and Susan dosReis, PhD, Department of Practices, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD, USA. Their commentary, “Navigating Patient-Preferences Studies for Cross-Stakeholder Decision Making: A Roadmap Guides the Way,” also published in the February 2023 issue of Value in Health, provides important background and context for those interested in the history of patient preference studies.

“This Good Practices Report adds an important tool in the current landscape of preferences research,” said Slejko and dosReis. “It provides guidance for the successful development of patient-preference studies by enhancing transparency and communication around study design and goals. We agree with the authors’ comment that growth in patient-preferences studies will continue. Therefore, the right time for the ISPOR Roadmap is now. Its impact will be assessed over time as it is implemented by the research community.”


ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE®-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field.
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Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) is an international, indexed journal that publishes original research and health policy articles that advance the field of health economics and outcomes research to help healthcare leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal’s 2021 impact factor score is 5.156 and its 5-year impact factor score is 6.779. Value in Health is ranked 9th of 88 journals in health policy and services, 18th of 109 journals in healthcare sciences and services, and 50th of 381 journals in economics. Value in Health is a monthly publication that circulates to more than 10,000 readers around the world.
Website  | Twitter (@isporjournals)

ISPOR has earned an international reputation for research excellence based, in part, on its Good Practices Reports. These highly cited reports are expert consensus recommendations on good practice standards for outcomes research (clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes) and on the use of this research in healthcare decision making. ISPOR Task Forces comprise subject matter experts representing different stakeholders from diverse work environments (ie, regulators, payers, manufacturers, technology assessors, etc from research, government, academic, and industry sectors around the world). All ISPOR Good Practices Reports are published in the Society’s scientific journal, Value in Health, and are made freely available as part of the Society’s mission. The Society’s Good Practices Reports have been recognized with an ASAE “Power of A” award that acknowledges innovative, effective, and broad-reaching programs that have a positive impact on the world.

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