You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Do Canadian Researchers and the Lay Public Prioritize Biomedical Research Outcomes Equally? A Choice Experiment

Miller, Fiona A. PhD; Mentzakis, Emmanouil PhD; Axler, Renata MBioethics; Lehoux, Pascale PhD; French, Martin PhD; Tarride, Jean-Eric PhD; Wodchis, Walter P. PhD; Wilson, Brenda J. MBChB, MSc; Longo, Christopher PhD; Bytautas, Jessica P.; Slater, Barbara MHSc

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828577fe
Research Reports
AM Rounds Blog Post
Abstract

Purpose: To quantify and compare the preferences of researchers and laypeople in Canada regarding the outcomes of basic biomedical research.

Method: In autumn 2010, the authors conducted a cross-sectional, national survey of basic biomedical researchers funded by Canada’s national health research agency and a representative sample of Canadian citizens to assess preferences for research outcomes across five attributes using a discrete choice experiment. Attributes included advancing scientific knowledge (assessed by published papers); building research capacity (assessed by trainees); informing decisions in the health products industry (assessed by patents); targeting economic, health, or scientific priorities; and cost. The authors reduced a fractional factorial design (18 pairwise choices plus an opt-out option) to three blocks of six. They also computed part worth utilities, differences in predicted probabilities, and willingness-to-pay values using nested logit models.

Results: Of 3,260 potential researchers, 1,749 (53.65% response rate) completed the questionnaire, along with 1,002 citizens. Researchers and citizens prioritized high-quality scientific outcomes (papers, trainees) over other attributes. Both groups disvalued research targeted at economic priorities relative to health priorities. Researchers granted a premium to proposals targeting scientific priorities.

Conclusions: Citizens and researchers fundamentally prioritized the same outcomes for basic biomedical research. Notably, they prioritized traditional scientific outcomes and disvalued the pursuit of economic returns. These findings have implications for how academic medicine assigns incentives and value to basic health research and how biomedical researchers and the public may jointly contribute to setting the future research agenda.

Author Information

Dr. Miller is associate professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Mentzakis is a lecturer, Economics Division, School of Social Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Ms. Axler is a doctoral candidate, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Lehoux is professor, Department of Health Administration and Institute of Public Health Research, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. French is a postdoctoral fellow, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University, New York, New York.

Dr. Tarride is associate professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Wodchis is associate professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Wilson is professor, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Longo is associate professor, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Ms. Bytautas is research officer and master’s student, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ms. Slater is a health policy consultant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A118.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Miller, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 155 College St., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3M6; telephone: (416) 978-3703; fax: (416) 978-7350; e-mail: fiona.miller@utoronto.ca.

© 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges