Preferences for public involvement in health service decisions: A comparison between best-worst scaling and trio-wise stated preference elicitation techniques

Stated preference elicitation techniques, such as discrete choice experiments and best-worst scaling, are now widely used in health research to explore the public’s choices and preferences. In this paper, we propose an alternative stated preference elicitation technique, which we refer to as ‘trio-wise’. We explain this new technique, its relative advantages, modeling framework, and how it compares to the best-worst scaling method. To better illustrate the differences and similarities, we utilize best-worst scaling Case 2, where individuals make best and worst (most and least) choices for the attribute levels that describe a single profile. We demonstrate this new preference elicitation technique using an empirical case study that explores preferences among the general public for ways to involve them in decisions concerning the health care system. Our findings show that the best-worst scaling and trio-wise preference elicitation techniques both retrieve similar preferences. However, the capability of our trio-wise method to provide additional information on the strength of rank preferences and its ability to accommodate indifferent preferences lead us to prefer it over the standard best-worst scaling technique.