Vignette Study Informs Clinical Decision Patterns - Case Study - SurveyEngine GmbH

Vignette Study Informs
Clinician Decision Patterns

First published October 2022

A UK-based CRO used SurveyEngine to develop a vignette study aimed to better understand the prescribing of oral treatments for a heart condition.


A UK-based Contract Research Organization (CRO) turned to SurveyEngine for a study on behalf of their sponsor, with the goal of understanding how physicians are making treatment decisions related to cardiac arrhythmias.

A vignette-experiment was chosen to provide a list of patient profiles to clinicians with the aim of understanding which treatment is preferred for a given profile. Modelling the data reveals which factors affect the physician’s decision-making.

Technical solution

SurveyEngine’s software can be used for various survey experiments, including vignette studies. The platform allows for randomization of the patient profile characteristics based on a design matrix to create a realistic decision-making experience.

In this study, demographic and cardiac characteristics constituted the elements of the vignettes. After introducing the profile, physicians were asked for their treatment preference and the reasoning behind it. The design matrix controls the randomization to best enable robust statistical analysis of physician choices and preferences.

Recruitment solution

After the client encountered obstacles in finding GPs and specialists to respond to the study, SurveyEngine offered a solution through its recruitment network: it was possible to provide a broad enough sample that included physicians with different subspecialities, such as general practitioners, cardiologists, stroke, and geriatric physicians to model the subgroups effectively.

This was done close to national holidays which posed a hard timeline, nevertheless the final sample size could be reached in time with N=200 physicians providing their responses.

About us

SurveyEngine developed the software to run the first Best-Worst and Choice Experiments online with Professor Louviere in Australia. Now established as a Berlin based company since 2016, SurveyEngine remains focussed on Choice Modelling methods, providing professional consulting services, cloud-based software for Choice Modelling and research respondent sampling solutions.

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