Do Canadian Researchers and the Lay Public Prioritize Biomedical Research Outcomes Equally? A Choice Experiment


Miller, F.A., Mentzakis, E., Axler, R., Lehouz, P., French, M., Tarride, J.E., Wodchis, W.P., Wilson, B.J., Longo, C., Bytautas, J.P. and Barbara, S. (2013) Do Canadian Researchers and the Lay Public Prioritize Biomedical Research Outcomes Equally? A Choice Experiment. Academic Medicine, 88, (4), 1-24.

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Description/Abstract

Purpose: Academic medicine must increasingly measure the ‘return on investment’ of
biomedical research, and justify these returns to key stakeholders. Whether citizens, and the
governments that represent them in funding basic, biomedical research, prioritize the same
returns as researchers warrants consideration.
Methods: In autumn 2010, through a cross-sectional, national survey of basic biomedical
researchers funded by Canada’s national health research agency, and a representative sample
of Canadian residents, the authors assessed preferences for research impacts across 5
attributes using a discrete choice experiment: advancing scientific knowledge (papers),
building research capacity (trainees), informing decisions in the health products industry
(patents), targeting economic, health or scientific priorities, and cost. A fractional factorial
design (18 pairwise choices plus opt-out) was reduced to three blocks of six. Part worth
utilities, differences in predicted probabilities, and willingness-to-pay values were computed
using nested logit models.
Results: 1,749 researchers (55.17% response rate) and 1,002 internet panellists completed
the survey. Researchers and citizens prioritized high quality scientific outputs (papers,
trainees) over other attributes; patents licensed by industry ranked third. Both groups
disvalued research targeted at economic priorities relative to health priorities. Researchers
granted a premium to proposals targeting scientific priorities.
Conclusions: Citizens and researchers shared fundamental preferences for the impacts of
basic biomedical research. Notably, traditional scientific outputs were prioritized, and the
pursuit of economic returns was disvalued. These findings have implications for academic
medicine in incenting and valuing basic health research, and for how biomedical researchers
and the public may jointly contribute to research priority setting.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1040-2446 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Economics
ePrint ID: 345216
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2012 13:09
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:27
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/345216

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