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Abstract 4: What Do Our Patients Truly Want? Conjoint Analysis of an Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Practice Using Internet Crowdsourcing A Pilot Study

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open: April 2016 - Volume 4 - Issue 4S - p 3
doi: 10.1097/01.GOX.0000488874.27156.15
PRS AAPS Oral Proofs 2016

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Cindy Wu, MD, Steven J. Hermiz, MD, Roja Garimella, BS, Paul Diegidio, MD, Scott Hultman, MD, Clara Lee, MD

From the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

PURPOSE: Inadequate evidence exists regarding which aesthetic surgery practice attributes are most important to patients. Conjoint analysis is a technique to identify what is most important to consumers, by requiring simultaneous tradeoffs among multiple product attributes. Its application in aesthetic surgery practices has not been well studied.

METHODS: Anonymous participants from an academic teaching hospital were asked, via electronic survey, to pick a surgeon for facelift surgery based on 5 attributes (pricing, photographs, testimonials, reputation, and training), each with 3 levels (ie, low, medium, and high pricing). Attribute importance (difference each attribute could make in the total utility of the product) and attribute preference (after trading-off other attributes) were calculated using empirical Bayes modeling.

RESULTS: With a 69% (179/261) completion rate, mean age was 43.1 years; 86% were women, 78% white, 54% married, 95% college educated, and 63% with annual household incomes more than $45,000. Without trade-offs, surgeon pedigree was ranked most important. With trade-offs, excellent testimonials, excellent photographs, then top tier training pedigree were preferred over national reputation and lowest price.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants placed higher relative importance on training pedigree. Conjoint analysis revealed excellent testimonials, excellent photographs, and top tier training were preferred over national reputation and lowest price. This discrepancy revealed actual behaviors compared with stated preferences. Future directions include conjoint analysis in breast augmentation and combined breast–abdominal surgery cohorts using an Internet crowdsourcing service.

© 2016 American Society of Plastic Surgeons