Unravelling the concept of consumer preference: Implications for health policy and optimal planning in primary care

Foster, Michele M., Earl, Peter E., Haines, Terry P. and Mitchell, Geoffrey K. (2010) Unravelling the concept of consumer preference: Implications for health policy and optimal planning in primary care. Health Policy, 97 2-3: 105-112. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.04.005


Author Foster, Michele M.
Earl, Peter E.
Haines, Terry P.
Mitchell, Geoffrey K.
Title Unravelling the concept of consumer preference: Implications for health policy and optimal planning in primary care
Journal name Health Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0168-8510
1872-6054
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.04.005
Volume 97
Issue 2-3
Start page 105
End page 112
Total pages 8
Editor Reinhard Busse
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Accounting for consumer preference in health policy and delivery system design makes good economic sense since this is linked to outcomes, quality of care and cost control. Probability trade-off methods are commonly used in policy evaluation, marketing and economics. Increasingly applied to health matters, the trade-off preference model has indicated that consumers of health care discriminate between different attributes of care. However, the complexities of the health decision-making environment raise questions about the inherent assumptions concerning choice and decision-making behavior which frame this view of consumer preference. In this article, we use the example of primary care in Australia as a vehicle to examine the concept of 'consumer preference' from different perspectives within economics and discuss the significance of how we model preferences for health policy makers. In doing so, we question whether mainstream thinking, namely that consumers are capable of deliberating between rival strategies and are willing to make trade-offs, is a reliable way of thinking about preferences given the complexities of the health decision-making environment. Alternative perspectives on preference can assist health policy makers and health providers by generating more precise information about the important attributes of care that are likely to enhance consumer engagement and optimise acceptability of health care.
© 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Keyword Preferences
Health consumer
Choice
Primary care
Discrete-choice experiment
Enhanced primary-care
Impact
Agent
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Economics Publications
School of Medicine Publications
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 10 Oct 2010, 00:05:07 EST