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Romo, Matthew L.; Zimba, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Sarah Gorrell; Berry, Amanda; You, William; Mirzayi, Chloe; Westmoreland, Drew; Parcesepe, Angela M.; Waldron, Levi; & Rane, Madhura, et al. (Preprint). Patterns of SARS-CoV-2 Testing Preferences in a National Cohort in the United States. medRxiv. PMCID: PMC7781336


In order to understand preferences about SARS-CoV-2 testing, we conducted a discrete choice experiment among 4793 participants in the Communities, Households, and SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology (CHASING COVID) Cohort Study from July 30-September 8, 2020. We used latent class analysis to identify distinct patterns of preferences related to testing and conducted a simulation to predict testing uptake if additional testing scenarios were offered. Five distinct patterns of SARS-CoV-2 testing emerged. "Comprehensive testers" (18.9%) ranked specimen type as most important and favored less invasive specimen types, with saliva most preferred, and also ranked venue and result turnaround time as highly important, with preferences for home testing and fast result turnaround time. "Fast track testers" (26.0%) ranked result turnaround time as most important and favored immediate and same day turnaround time. "Dual testers" (18.5%) ranked test type as most important and preferred both antibody and viral tests. "Non-invasive dual testers" (33.0%) ranked specimen type and test type as similarly most important, preferring cheek swab specimen type and both antibody and viral tests. "Home testers" (3.6%) ranked venue as most important and favored home-based testing. By offering less invasive (saliva specimen type), dual testing (both viral and antibody tests), and at home testing scenarios in addition to standard testing scenarios, simulation models predicted that testing uptake would increase from 81.7% to 98.1%. We identified substantial differences in preferences for SARS-CoV-2 testing and found that offering additional testing options, which consider this heterogeneity, would likely increase testing uptake.
SIGNIFICANCE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, diagnostic testing has allowed for early detection of cases and implementation of measures to reduce community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding individuals' preferences about testing and the service models that deliver tests are relevant in efforts to increase and sustain uptake of SARS-CoV-2 testing, which, despite vaccine availability, will be required for the foreseeable future. We identified substantial differences in preferences for SARS-CoV-2 testing in a discrete choice experiment among a large national cohort of adults in the US. Offering additional testing options that account for or anticipate this heterogeneity in preferences (e.g., both viral and antibody tests, at home testing), would likely increase testing uptake.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title



Romo, Matthew L.
Zimba, Rebecca
Kulkarni, Sarah Gorrell
Berry, Amanda
You, William
Mirzayi, Chloe
Westmoreland, Drew
Parcesepe, Angela M.
Waldron, Levi
Rane, Madhura
Kochhar, Shivani
Robertson, McKaylee
Maroko, Andrew R.
Grov, Christian
Nash, Denis

Article Type




Data Set/Study

Communities, Households and SARS/CoV-2 Epidemiology (CHASING) COVID Cohort Study


United States of America




Parcesepe - 0000-0002-4321-125x