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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 September 2015

Sally Wortley
School of Public Health, University of
Kathy Flitcroft
School of Public Health and the Poche Cerntre, University of Sydney
Kirsten Howard
School of Public Health, University of Sydney


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the role of community preference information from discrete choice studies of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in health technology assessment (HTA) reports and subsequent policy decisions.

Methods: We undertook a systematic review of discrete choice studies of CRC screening. Included studies were reviewed to assess the policy context of the research. For those studies that cited a recent or pending review of CRC screening, further searches were undertaken to determine the extent to which community preference information was incorporated into the HTA decision-making process.

Results: Eight discrete choice studies that evaluated preferences for CRC screening were identified. Four of these studies referred to a national or local review of CRC screening in three countries: Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. Our review of subsequently released health policy documents showed that while consideration was given to community views on CRC, policy was not informed by discrete choice evidence.

Conclusions: Preferences and values of patients are increasingly being considered “evidence” to be incorporated into HTA reports. Discrete choice methodology is a rigorous quantitative method for eliciting preferences and while as a methodology it is growing in profile, it would appear that the results of such research are not being systematically translated or integrated into HTA reports. A formalized approach is needed to incorporate preference literature into the HTA decision-making process.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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