The Past and Future of the AHP in Health Care Decision Making

J. Marjan Hummel, Maarten Joost IJzerman

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Abstract

Objective. Health care decision making is a complex process involving many stakeholders and allowing for multiple decision criteria. The Analytic Hierarchy process (AHP) can support these complex decisions that relate to the application and coverage of health care technologies. The objective of this study is to review the past applications of the AHP in supporting health care decision making, and to make recommendations for its future use. Method. We conducted a systematic review of AHP applications in health care, as described in the relevant medical, health-economical, psycho-sociological, managerial, and applied mathematical literature. Results. We found 62 distinctive AHP applications in health care. Of the retrieved applications, 13 % focus on shared decision-making between patient and clinician, 27 % on the development of clinical practice guidelines, 5 % on the development of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, 40 % on management decisions in health care organizations, and 15 % on the development of national health care policy. Conclusions. From the review it is concluded that the AHP is suitable to apply in case of complex health care decision problems, a need to improve decision making in stead of explain decision outcomes, a need to share information among experts or between clinicians and patients, and in case of a limited availability of informed respondents. We foresee the increased use of the AHP in health economical assessment of technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XI Symposium ISAHP 2011
PublisherISAHP
Pagesnr. 111-1/6
ISBN (Print)1556-8296
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • systematic literature review
  • METIS-284457
  • Health technology assessment
  • health care decision making
  • Analytic Hierarchy Process
  • IR-79775

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  • Cite this

    Hummel, J. M., & IJzerman, M. J. (2011). The Past and Future of the AHP in Health Care Decision Making. In Proceedings of the XI Symposium ISAHP 2011 (pp. nr. 111-1/6). ISAHP.