A Review of Methodological Issues in the Conduct of WTP Studies in Health Care II: Administration of a CV Survey
journal contributionposted on 06.06.2017, 02:48 by Smith, Richard, Olsen, Jan Abel, Harris, Anthony H.
Cost-effectiveness, and cost-utility, analyses have historically been the most widely used techniques of economic evaluation applied to the evaluation of health care programs. However, in recent years there has been renewed interest in the use of cost-benefit analysis, which requires the assessment of programme benefits in monetary terms. The emerging consensus is that such monetary valuation is most appropriately obtained using a survey of individual `willingness-to-pay' (WTP) for the program of interest. There are obviously a considerable number of methodological issues and potential biases to be considered in performing such a survey, which may be grouped into three main areas: (i) the construction and specification of the contingent market; (ii) the administration of the survey; and (iii) the analysis and interpretation of the WTP data. In addition, there are a few issues which also warrant consideration, such as assessing validity and reliability, and the impact of ability to pay and income distribution issues. This paper is concerned with assessing the administration of the CV survey. The other issues are considered in companion Working Papers. Administration of the survey concerns the presentation of the contingent market to the respondent. The two main issues within this are the format of the questionnaire presented to the respondents, and the mode of administration of the questionnaire (critically, face-to-face interview or not). Other issues relevant within this broad area of presentation include, for example, the order of questions as posed to respondents, whether an explicit budget constraint is invoked, the sample from whom values should be elicited and possible bias caused by specifying values or by the interviewer. Each of these is discussed in this paper. The paper considers the literature relating to the issues mentioned, and uses this to derive a set of `recommendations' for current `state of the art' conduct of WTP surveys with respect to survey administration. WTP studies conducted to date in health and health care are then reviewed with such recommendations in mind, to assess the degree to which they reflect this `state of the art'. It is concluded that such studies perform poorly when judged in this manner.