Publication Details

Dowie, J., Kaltoft, M. Kjer., Salkeld, G. & Cunich, M. (2013). Towards generic online multicriteria decision support in patient-centred health care. Health Expectations, 18 (5), 689-702.


Objective To introduce a new online generic decision support system based on multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA), implemented in practical and user-friendly software (Annalisa). Background All parties in health care lack a simple and generic way to picture and process the decisions to be made in pursuit of improved decision making and more informed choice within an overall philosophy of person- and patient-centred care. Methods The MCDA-based system generates patient-specific clinical guidance in the form of an opinion as to the merits of the alternative options in a decision, which are all scored and ranked. The scores for each option combine, in a simple expected value calculation, the best estimates available now for the performance of those options on patient-determined criteria, with the individual patient's preferences, expressed as importance weightings for those criteria. The survey software within which the Annalisa file is embedded (Elicia) customizes and personalizes the presentation and inputs. Principles relevant to the development of such decision- specific MCDA-based aids are noted and comparisons with alternative implementations presented. The necessity to trade-off practicality (including resource constraints) with normative rigour and empirical complexity, in both their development and delivery, is emphasized. Conclusion The MCDA-/Annalisa-based decision support system represents a prescriptive addition to the portfolio of decision-aiding tools available online to individuals and clinicians interested in pursuing shared decision making and informed choice within a commitment to transparency in relation to both the evidence and preference bases of decisions. Some empirical data establishing its usability are provided.



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