Create and administer surveys to measure peoples preferences and values


Listening to the preferences and values of patients and the public is crucial to implementing value based health care.

We want to make it easier for researchers to collect preferences that truly reflect peoples values, from a broad range of the population.

Preference Application or PrefApp is an open source survey platform that enables academic researchers to create custom preference elicitation surveys.

It includes various approaches including Discrete Choice Experiments, Best Worst Scaling and Constant Sum, with more to be added based on demand.

The surveys can be customized using open source code in multiple ways to make it easier for participants to understand survey tasks - so the preferences of participants better reflect their underlying preferences.

PrefApp offers advanced features not available in most other software. All data is hosted on secure servers at the University of British Columbia.

Important information

This application is available to academics in British Columbia, for not profit use, and is free of charge through generous funding by the BC SUPPORT Unit. If you are interested in using the software for other purposes, please use the contact form at the bottom.

If you are not in BC but would like to use the software, please contact us.

Please read through the platform information documents including the terms of service.

You are required to have research ethics board (REB) approval before you begin collecting data - we ask you do not collect identifiable data in PrefApp. Do not ask for personal health numbers (PHNs), full names, dates of birth, or ask questions with free text responses that may prompt people to identify themselves. To send the surveys to participants either send the unique survey link provided in PrefApp, or use REDCap to administer the survey (so you can follow up with respondents). See the tutorials for more information

Key Features

Interactive Orientation

Many participants have never completed a preference elicitation task before and may be confused by the layout. Using the easy to customize, interactive in-survey orientation, you can be sure your participants understand what they are being asked and how to complete the preference elicitation tasks properly.

Layouts that Adapt

The easier it is to complete a survey, the more people will respond. That's why in PrefApp you can create adaptive layouts that change based on the size of the user's screen. With PrefApp, people can participate in your preference survey from anywhere on any device.

Many Types of Tasks

PrefApp can support different types of preference elicitation tasks. In addition to traditional discrete choice experiments, it can support best-worst scaling tasks (type 1, 2, and 3) and constant sum tasks.

See live demos of a DCE and Best Worst Scaling survey

We are grateful to Michael Smith Health Research BC SUPPORT Unit for funding the development of this project