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Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1997 Mar;26(1):89-111.

Decision analysis in endocrinology and metabolism.

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  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Decision analysis is a powerful tool for synthesizing and analyzing clinical decisions in the practice of endocrinology and metabolism. The technique involves defining strategies for comparison, choosing a time horizon, constructing a decision tree and model, selecting outcomes and assigning probabilities, taking into account the value of time, calculating the net clinical and cost outcomes, and performing sensitivity analysis. This technique and its utility for different populations and changing health care settings are illustrated for the decision of screening for mild thyroid failure with a thyroid-stimulating hormone assay at the periodic health examination. The strengths and limitations of decision analysis and future applications in endocrinology and metabolism are explored.

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