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How to set up a design for patient profiling in Sawtooth software?


We are currently fielding a study with a patient profiling exercise (healthcare). We are wondering what the advised strategy is.
So, each medical specialist gets a set of tasks. Each tasks displays a few different treatments to be chosen from for a given patient profile. The patient profile is based on two patient variables ('risk' and 'age') and the same for each treatment within a task.

As far as we know, such design can not be created directly in Lighthouse. We have used a work-around by creating two designs. One design with CBC tasks for the treatments (so excluding the patient profile) and another random list with patient profiles. These designs were then merged  in excel, by  randomly assigning a single patient profile per task. The merged design can then be imported for the analysis.

Which approach have others used? Can you do this more efficient and less error-sensitive, e.g. by free-format CBC?

Thanks for any suggestions!
asked Jun 13, 2017 by andydevos (180 points)
retagged Jun 13, 2017 by Walter Williams

1 Answer

0 votes
This type of design is more complicated than might first appear, because the patient profile is not something that the respondent is evaluating and choosing or not choosing, but is instead acting like a context variable.  So what you are saying through this type of a design is that someone's preference for treatments changes depending on the patient profile.  So instead of having a single utility for a treatment, you potentially have a modifying utility based on the patient profile.

These are typically done using our free format questions and a CBC design as you mention, but then our standalone MBC (Menu Based Conjoint) software is used in order to specify the model.  It can't be analyzed inside Lighthouse Studio because the context variable would need to exist in each profile presented, and would effectively become a constant.
answered Jun 13, 2017 by Brian McEwan Gold Sawtooth Software, Inc. (46,545 points)