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Int J Public Health. 2015 Jan;60 Suppl 1:S73-81. doi: 10.1007/s00038-014-0569-3. Epub 2014 May 31.

Priority setting for the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases: multi-criteria decision analysis in four eastern Mediterranean countries.

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Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine,



To explore the feasibility of using a simple multi-criteria decision analysis method with policy makers/key stakeholders to prioritize cardiovascular disease (CVD) policies in four Mediterranean countries: Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.


A simple multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method was piloted. A mixed methods study was used to identify a preliminary list of policy options in each country. These policies were rated by different policymakers/stakeholders against pre-identified criteria to generate a priority score for each policy and then rank the policies.


Twenty-five different policies were rated in the four countries to create a country-specific list of CVD prevention and control policies. The response rate was 100% in each country. The top policies were mostly population level interventions and health systems' level policies.


Successful collaboration between policy makers/stakeholders and researchers was established in this small pilot study. MCDA appeared to be feasible and effective. Future applications should aim to engage a larger, representative sample of policy makers, especially from outside the health sector. Weighting the selected criteria might also be assessed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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