The Use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Weight Elicitation Techniques in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study
Janine A. van Til
James G. Dolan
Anne M. Stiggelbout
Karin C.G.M. Groothuis
Maarten J. IJzerman
Objective: To test the applicability of multi-criteria decision analysis preference elicitation techniques in cognitively impaired individuals. Method: A convenience sample of 16 cognitively impaired subjects and 12 healthy controls was asked to participate in a small pilot study. The subjects determined the relative importance of four decision criteria using five different weight elicitation techniques, namely simple multi-attribute rating technique, simple multi-attribute rating technique using swing weights, Kepner-Tregoe weighting, the analytical hierarchical process, and conjoint analysis. Results: Conjoint analysis was judged to be the easiest method for weight elicitation in the control group (Z = 10.00; p = 0.04), while no significant differences in difficulty rating between methods was found in cognitively impaired subjects. Conjoint analysis elicitates weights and rankings significantly different from other methods. Subjectively, cognitively impaired subjects were positive about the use of the weight elicitation techniques. However, it seems the use of swing weights can result in the employment of shortcut strategies. Conclusion: The results of this pilot study suggest that individuals with mild cognitive impairment are willing and able to use multi-criteria elicitation methods to determine criteria weights in a decision context, although no preference for a method was found. The same methodologic and practical issues can be identified in cognitively impaired individuals as in healthy controls and the choice of method is mostly determined by the decision context.
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