Preferences for a third-trimester ultrasound scan in a low-risk obstetric population: a discrete choice experiment

Fiona A. Lynn*, Grainne E. Crealey, Fiona A. Alderdice, James C. Mcelnay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1157 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Establish maternal preferences for a third-trimester ultrasound scan in a healthy, low-risk pregnant population.

Design: Cross-sectional study incorporating a discrete choice experiment.

Setting: A large, urban maternity hospital in Northern Ireland.

Participants: One hundred and forty-six women in their second trimester of pregnancy.

Methods: A discrete choice experiment was designed to elicit preferences for four attributes of a third-trimester ultrasound scan: health-care professional conducting the scan, detection rate for abnormal foetal growth, provision of non-medical information, cost. Additional data collected included age, marital status, socio-economic status, obstetric history, pregnancy-specific stress levels, perceived health and whether pregnancy was planned. Analysis was undertaken using a mixed logit model with interaction effects.

Main outcome measures: Women's preferences for, and trade-offs between, the attributes of a hypothetical scan and indirect willingness-to-pay estimates.

Results: Women had significant positive preference for higher rate of detection, lower cost and provision of non-medical information, with no significant value placed on scan operator. Interaction effects revealed subgroups that valued the scan most: women experiencing their first pregnancy, women reporting higher levels of stress, an adverse obstetric history and older women.

Conclusions: Women were able to trade on aspects of care and place relative importance on clinical, non-clinical outcomes and processes of service delivery, thus highlighting the potential of using health utilities in the development of services from a clinical, economic and social perspective. Specifically, maternal preferences exhibited provide valuable information for designing a randomized trial of effectiveness and insight for clinical and policy decision makers to inform woman-centred care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-903
Number of pages12
JournalHealth expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy
Issue number5
Early online date26 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Women's preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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