Stated-preference research in HIV: A scoping review
Discrete choice experiments (DCE), conjoint analysis (CA), and best-worst scaling (BWS) are quantitative techniques for estimating consumer preferences for products or services. These methods are increasingly used in healthcare research, but their applications within the field of HIV research have not yet been described. The objective of this scoping review was to systematically map the extent and nature of published DCE, CA, and BWS studies in the field of HIV and identify priority areas where these methods can be used in the future. Online databases were searched to identify published HIV-related DCE, CA and BWS studies in any country and year as the primary outcome. After screening 1,496 citations, 57 studies were identified that were conducted in 26 countries from 2000–2017. The frequency of published studies increased over time and covered HIV themes relating to prevention (n = 25), counselling and testing (n = 10), service delivery (n = 10), and antiretroviral therapy (n = 12). Most studies were DCEs (63%) followed by CA (37%) and BWS (4%). The median [IQR] sample size was 288 [138–496] participants, and 74% of studies used primary qualitative data to develop attributes. Only 30% of studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa where the burden of HIV is highest. Moreover, few studies surveyed key populations including men who have sex with men, transgender people, pregnant and postpartum women, adolescents, and people who inject drugs. These populations represent priorities for future stated-preference research. This scoping review can help researchers, policy makers, program implementers, and health economists to better understand the various applications of stated-preference research methods in the field of HIV.