Do participants understand health economics surveys?

Debriefing questions can assess if respondents understand discrete choice experiments (DCEs) and are answering in a way consistent with theories of decision making and utility maximisation. However, there is limited literature about how often debriefing questions are included or how the results are used in health economics. We conducted an online survey of authors of published health DCEs, asking about their use of debriefing questions, including frequency, type and analysis. We descriptively analysed the sample characteristics and responses.

Outcome and Translation

These results suggest that while over half of researchers conducting health DCEs use debriefing questions, many do not analyse, use or report the responses. Given the additional respondent burden, there is a need for reliable and valid debriefing questions. In the meantime, the inclusion, analysis, and reporting of debriefing questions should be carefully considered prior to DCE implementation.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Verity Watson

External collaborators: Pearce, A. (University of Sydney); Mulhearn, B. Viney, R. (CHERE, University of Aberdeen)


Pearce, A.M., Mulhern, B.J., Watson, V. and Viney, R.C. (2020) 'How are debriefing questions used in health discrete choice experiments? An online survey', Value in Health, 23(3), 289–293.

Pearce, A., Harrison, M., Watson, V., Street, D. J., Howard, K., Bansback, N. and Bryan, S. (2021) 'Respondent understanding in discrete choice experiments: a scoping review', The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 14, 17-53.