Multiple criteria decision analysis for health technology assessment

Value Health. 2012 Dec;15(8):1172-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2012.06.015. Epub 2012 Oct 6.


Objectives: Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been suggested by some researchers as a method to capture the benefits beyond quality adjusted life-years in a transparent and consistent manner. The objectives of this article were to analyze the possible application of MCDA approaches in health technology assessment and to describe their relative advantages and disadvantages.

Methods: This article begins with an introduction to the most common types of MCDA models and a critical review of state-of-the-art methods for incorporating multiple criteria in health technology assessment. An overview of MCDA is provided and is compared against the current UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence health technology appraisal process. A generic MCDA modeling approach is described, and the different MCDA modeling approaches are applied to a hypothetical case study.

Results: A comparison of the different MCDA approaches is provided, and the generic issues that need consideration before the application of MCDA in health technology assessment are examined.

Conclusions: There are general practical issues that might arise from using an MCDA approach, and it is suggested that appropriate care be taken to ensure the success of MCDA techniques in the appraisal process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • Research Design*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / economics
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods*