This article explains how to optimize Bayesian D-efficient discrete choice experiment (DCE) designs for the estimation of quality-adjusted life year (QALY) tariffs that are unconfounded by respondents' time preferences.
The calculation of Bayesian D-errors is explained for DCE designs that allow for the disentanglement of respondents' time and health-state preferences. Time preferences are modelled via an exponential, hyperbolic, or power discount function and the performance of the proposed DCE designs is compared with that of several conventional DCE designs that do not take nonlinear time preferences into account.
Based on the achieved D-error, asymptotic standard error, and estimated sample size to obtain statistically significant estimates of the discount rate parameters, the proposed designs outperform the conventional DCE designs.
We recommend that applied researchers use appropriately optimized DCE designs for the estimation of QALY tariffs that are corrected for time preferences. The TPC-QALY software package that accompanies this article makes the recommended designs easily accessible for health-state valuation researchers.
Marcel F. Jonker Michiel C.J. Bliemer