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Med Decis Making. 1995 Jan-Mar;15(1):76-80.

Are patients capable of using the analytic hierarchy process and willing to use it to help make clinical decisions?

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Department of Medicine, Rochester General Hospital, NY 14621.


The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is a user-friendly technique that enables a decision marker to elicit subjective values and combine them with more objective data in an explicit, unbiased manner. To determine whether patients are capable of using and willing to use the AHP to help make clinical decisions, the author asked 20 volunteers to perform an AHP analysis of the choice among five screening regimens for colon cancer. The patients were categorized as capable if they completed the analysis in < or = 45 minutes and as willing if they indicated that they would prefer to go through this type of analysis before making a clinical decision. Eighteen (90%) were capable and willing. The difference between this result and 25%, the predefined null hypothesis, is significant: p = 1.6 x 10(-9). These results indicate that AHP-based decision-making aids are likely to be acceptable to and within the capabilities of many patients. If so, they could serve as practical tools for improving the clinical decision-making process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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