Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) have become a commonly used instrument in health economics. This paper updates a review of published papers between 1990 and 2000 for the years 2001–2008. Based on this previous review, and a number of other key review papers, focus is given to three issues: experimental design; estimation procedures; and validity of responses. Consideration is also given to how DCEs are applied and reported. We identified 114 DCEs, covering a wide range of policy questions. Applications took place in a broader range of health-care systems, and there has been a move to incorporating fewer attributes, more choices and interview-based surveys. There has also been a shift towards statistically more efficient designs and flexible econometric models. The reporting of monetary values continues to be popular, the use of utility scores has not gained popularity, and there has been an increasing use of odds ratios and probabilities. The latter are likely to be useful at the policy level to investigate take-up and acceptability of new interventions. Incorporation of interactions terms in the design and analysis of DCEs, explanations of risk, tests of external validity and incorporation of DCE results into a decision-making framework remain important areas for future research. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.