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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Jun;16(6):535-42.

Decision analysis and economic modelling: a primer.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan and VA Center for Practice Management and Outcomes Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


In this primer, the reader is introduced to the concepts governing decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. The construction of decision trees and Markov models is presented to provide the necessary background to critique research articles in published literature. Specific sub-topics related to cost-effectiveness analysis are discussed including quality adjustment and utilities (patient preferences for health states), discounting, and sensitivity analysis including Monte Carlo simulation. Evidence based methods to critique decision and cost-effectiveness analysis are provided, and limitations to these analytic methods are examined. In summary, the major functions of decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis are to provide: (1) a quantitative summary of existing data, and (2) hypothesis generation for further research.

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