Quality of care experience in aged care: An Australia-Wide discrete choice experiment to elicit preference weights

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The quality of aged care provided to older people is a concern for all countries globally. This study adopts a novel first-stage discrete choice experiment (DCE) and a second-stage quality rating task to empirically estimate the relative importance of six key aged care quality criteria from more than 10,000 Australian general population sample. The six attributes or characteristics (each with five levels) compose the new measure, Quality of Care Experience (QCE) in aged care that includes: ‘Respect & Dignity’, ‘Make Own Decisions’, ‘Skills & Training (of staff)’, ‘Health & Wellbeing’, ‘Social Relationships’, and ‘Lodging Complaints’. The online survey was conducted between September and October 2019. Preference heterogeneity was evident among respondents. The latent class analysis indicates that those more experienced respondents (i.e. have a better knowledge of Australia's current aged care system or they had a close family member who was receiving aged care services) valued more towards the outcomes of the aged care services whilst the inexperienced respondents valued highly towards the process of the aged care services. A preference weighted scoring algorithm was developed for the QCE measure (on a 0–1 scale whereby 0 = lowest quality and 1 = highest quality) and the corresponding quality thresholds for ‘Unacceptable/Poor’, ‘Satisfactory’ and ‘High/Very High’ quality of care were reported based on the second-stage quality rating questions following each DCE task. The impact of different QCE attributes on the quality ratings was non-linear when considering movements from ‘Unacceptable/Poor’ to ‘Satisfactory’, and from ‘Satisfactory’ to ‘High/Very High’. This study provides important insights into the general public's perceptions of the relative importance of key quality of care experience criteria in aged care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114440
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Aged care
  • Discrete choice experiments
  • Long term care
  • Preference weights
  • Quality of care experience
  • Stated preference


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