The Australian public's preferences for emergency care alternatives and the influence of the presenting context: a discrete choice experiment.
Bottom Line: Mixed logit regression was used to analyse the dependent variable choice and identify the relative importance of care attributes and the propensity to access care in each context.Results suggest a clear preference for lower costs, shorter wait times and strong emphasis on quality care; however, significant preference heterogeneity was observed.It has further demonstrated the importance of service quality as a determinant of healthcare choices.
Affiliation: School of Medicine, Population and Social Health Research Program, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Queensland, Australia.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Although treatment by an emergency health professional other than a doctor was the least preferred in all contexts, a different pattern of preferences was observed for S1 compared with the other scenarios. Whereas treatment at hospital was clearly preferred in S1, for each of the remaining scenarios, preferences were strongest for treatment in ambulatory settings, such as a local clinic (S3 and S4) or at home (S2). The different patterns of preferences for treatment location by presenting context are depicted in figure 1. In all four scenarios, there were clear preferences for lower costs (for every dollar of out-of-pocket expense), shorter wait times (for every minute waited) and higher levels of service quality. The marked heterogeneity observed across all contexts and variations observed in both patterns of service uptake and preferences for the different characteristics of care suggest different presenting problems are associated with differences in healthcare choices. Choices differed even when the same problem affected different people (eg, S2 and S3).
Affiliation: School of Medicine, Population and Social Health Research Program, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Queensland, Australia.