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BACKGROUND: The think-aloud (TA) approach is a qualitative research method that allows for gaining insight into thoughts and cognitive processes. It can be used to incorporate a respondent's perspective when developing resource-use measurement (RUM) instruments. Currently, the application of TA methods in RUM research is limited, and so is the guidance on how to use them. Transparent publication of TA methods for RUM in health economics studies, which is the aim of this paper, can contribute to reducing the aforementioned gap. METHODS: Methods for conducting TA interviews were iteratively developed by a multi-national working group of health economists and additional qualitative research expertise was sought. TA interviews were conducted in four countries to support this process. A ten-step process was outlined in three parts: Part A 'before the interview' (including translation, recruitment, training), Part B 'during the interview' (including setting, opening, completing the instrument, open-ended questions, closing), and part C 'after the interview' (including transcription and data analysis, trustworthiness). CONCLUSIONS: This manuscript describes the step-by-step approach for conducting multi-national TA interviews with potential respondents of the PECUNIA RUM instrument. It increases the methodological transparency in RUM development and reduces the knowledge gap of using qualitative research methods in health economics.

Original publication




Journal article


Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res

Publication Date





383 - 389


Instrument development, patient involvement, qualitative research methods, resource-use measurement, think-aloud, Humans, Surveys and Questionnaires, Research Design