The analytic hierarchy process in medical and health care decision making: A literature review
This paper presents a literature review of the application of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to important problems in medical and health care decision making. The literature is classified by year of publication, health care category, journal, method of analyzing alternatives, participants, and application type. Very few articles were published prior to 1988 and the level of activity has increased to about three articles per year since 1997. The 50 articles reviewed were classified in seven categories: diagnosis, patient participation, therapy/treatment, organ transplantation, project and technology evaluation and selection, human resource planning, and health care evaluation and policy. The largest number of articles was found in the project and technology evaluation and selection category (14) with substantial activity in patient participation (9), therapy/treatment (8), and health care evaluation and policy (8). The AHP appears to be a promising support tool for shared decision making between patient and doctor, evaluation and selection of therapies and treatments, and the evaluation of health care technologies and policies. We expect that AHP research will continue to be an important component of health care and medical research.
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