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Serious Child

PROJECT 3

Exploring how people make choices when valuing paediatric Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL)

Project 3 will use both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore how individuals respond to health state valuation questionnaires, specifically when considering valuing health related quality of life for children. It will specifically help us to understand how people completing valuation studies approach health states that apply to children, and whether the trade-offs differ between dimensions and between HRQOL and longevity. The aim is to understand how people understand and respond to the questions in order to design tasks that are better tailored.

We will employ think aloud methods while respondents complete valuation tasks, and undertake these interviews for both adults and children.

Research questions:

· How do adults and children make choices when completing valuation tasks?

· How can we improve engagement by tailoring the tasks to their context and topic?

· What do adults and children consider the trade-offs depending on the context?


Methods:

We will recruit a sample of adults and children (adults n=100 and children N=50) who are representative of the Australian population. Older children (aged 12 and above) will be included in the child sample.

We will ask respondents to undertake a DCE task (approximately 12 choice sets). A sub-sample of the respondents will be asked to undertake a think-aloud task. All respondents will have a follow up interview to identify decision making strategies. Interviews will be recorded and transcribed and an indepth qualitative analysis will be undertaken to identify key themes, and particularly to understand how these differ for different groups (younger respondents, adult respondents with children, adult respondents without children). We will also conduct an exploratory analysis of the responses to the valuation tasks. We will potentially supplement this approach using different data collection methods including group sessions.

An iterative approach to data collection will be used. We will allocate up to 20 respondents to a particular protocol (that is a combination of perspective, health state descriptive system and task presentation), that will then be varied in the next set of participants in a systematic way. Each respondent will, as part of their interview undertake two variations of the protocol (eg two different descriptive systems, two different perspectives or two different task presentations). These will be randomized for the participants (in terms of which they see first). Data analysis will take place iteratively before the next set of interviews is undertaken

The findings from Project 3 will help inform the design of tasks in project 4 and 5.