Does being exposed to an educational tool influence patient preferences? The influence of an educational tool on patient preferences assessed by a discrete choice experiment.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Karin Bywall
  • Jorien Veldwijk
  • Mats Hansson
  • eva baecklund
  • Ulrik Kihlbom

Colleges, School and Institutes


Objectives: There is an increased interest in patient preferences informing the development and authorisation of medical products. A requirement for robust and meaningful results of such studies is that patients adequately understand the risks and benefits associated with treatments for which their preferences are elicited. This study aims to determine the influence of an educational tool, compared with traditional written information on patient preferences elicited in a discrete choice experiment (DCE).

Methods: Treatment preferences of Swedish patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were assessed using a DCE. Patients were recruited via clinics, a research panel, and the Swedish Rheumatism Association. Respondents received training materials either as plain written text or as an online educational tool. The educational tool was designed to enhance understanding of the written text by using graphics, pictograms, icon arrays, spoken text, and click-on functions. Data were analysed using random parameter logit models.

Results: 675 patients with RA were included in the analysis. The patients received either a written information (n=358) or information via an educational tool (n=317). Respondents receiving the educational tool placed relatively more importance on all included side effects in their decision making, compared to respondents receiving the written text, who placed greater importance on treatment effectiveness and administration methods.

Conclusion: Compared to the respondents receiving the written text, the decisions of respondents receiving the educational tool were more influenced by medication side effects. Further research is needed to provide guidance on how and when to use educational tools to inform and elicit patients’ preferences.

Practice implications: The ways in which attributes are presented to patients significantly impacts preferences measured in a DCE.


Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Early online date10 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2021


  • Digital educational tools, Discrete choice experiments, Medical product lifecycle, Regulatory decisions, Rheumatoid arthritis