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J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Oct;41(5):370-3.

Decision analysis using decision trees for a simple clinical decision.

Author information

  • Department of Otolaryngology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To illustrate the use of decision trees with a utility index in clinical decision making.

METHODS:

A decision tree was created related to whether or not to perform a tonsillectomy. Data from the literature were applied to a common hypothetical clinical scenario.

RESULTS:

A decision tree graphically represents the typical decision-making process that many clinicians use. The addition of utility functions permitted consideration of the adverse or beneficial effects of outcomes, altering the treatment decision.

CONCLUSION:

Quantitative tools such as decision trees may quantify outcome preferences and aid in clinical decision making, but the proper tool and background data are essential.

PMID:
23092839
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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