Multi-criteria decision analysis is domain of operational research that is beginning to be used in healthcare decision-making. The technique recognises that decision-makers use multiple and disparate criteria when making decisions (for example about introducing new health care interventions or facilities etc.), and that it is important to make explicit the impact on any decision of all the criteria applied and the relative importance attached to them. In MCDA criteria affecting a decision are identified and weighted using explicit, transparent techniques. Then different options (strategies, interventions etc.) are scored against each criterion and the weights are used to provide summary scores for comparative purposes. MCDA has been found to be attractive in health technology assessment, especially in healthcare systems where there is reluctance to primarily use a single decision metric (such as the ICER). It helps to make more transparent assumptions underpinning decisions, which in principle may improve accountability and consistency of decision-making. There are some technical issues around defining and weighting decision criteria scoring performance against criteria for health care interventions, which have resulted in its uptake in healthcare being quite slow. One area of recent application is benefit-risk analysis.

How to cite: Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) [online]. (2016). York; York Health Economics Consortium; 2016. https://www.yhec.co.uk/glossary/multi-criteria-decision-analysis-mcda/

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