What Patients Look for When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon: An Assessment of Patient Preference by Conjoint Analysis


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The knowledge of patient preference is crucial for plastic surgeons to determine optimal marketing strategies. Conjoint analysis is a statistical technique whereby research participants make a series of trade-offs. Analysis of these trade-offs reveals the relative importance of component attributes. This study will evaluate the relative importance of attributes that influence the selection and decision-making process when choosing a plastic surgeon. A questionnaire consisting of 18 plastic surgeon profiles was rated by 111 patients. Attributes analyzed were as follows: travel distance, number of years in practice, board certification status, method of referral, office décor, and procedure cost. A traditional full-profile conjoint analysis was performed. Subjects consisted of 10 men and 101 women (n = 111). Median age was 51 years (range, 19–72). The “mean importance” of the attributes are as follows: board certification status, 39.7%; method of referral, 23.5%; distance from home to office, 13.2%; office décor, 9.0%; number of years in practice, 7.5%; and cost of procedure, 7.2%. Internal validity checks showed a high correlation (Pearson ρ = 0.995; P < 0.001). This pilot study demonstrates that conjoint analysis is a very powerful tool for market research in the health care system. The level of importance for each attribute reliably helps plastic surgeons to understand the preferences of their patients, thus being able to improve marketing strategies for private practices and institutions. The present study indicates that the most important attributes were board certification and method of referral.

    loading  Loading Related Articles