Volume 48 | Number 6pt1 | December 2013

Abstract List

R. Trafford Crump Ph.D., H. Llewellyn‐Thomas Ph.D.


To assess the Threshold Technique's () feasibility in community‐wide surveys of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries' preferences for end‐of‐life () care options.

Study Setting

Study participants were community‐dwelling edicare beneficiaries in four different regions in the United States.

Study Design

During personal interviews, participants considered four scenarios, each presenting a choice between a less intense and more intense care option.

Data Collection

Participants selected their initially favored option. Depending on that choice, in the subsequent the length of life offered by the more intense option was systematically increased or decreased until the participant “switched” to his or her initially rejected option.

Principal Findings

Participants were able to select an initially favored option (in 3 of the 4 scenarios; this was the less intense option). The majority of participants were able to engage with the subsequent . In all scenarios, regardless of the increase/decrease in the length of life offered by the more intense option, the majority of participants were unwilling to “switch” to their initially rejected option.


In surveys of populations' preferential attitudes toward care options, the was a feasible elicitation method, engaging most participants and measuring the strength of their attitudes. Further methodological work is merited, involving (1) populations with various participant characteristics, and (2) different attributes in the task itself.