Decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis for comparative effectiveness research-a primer

David J. Sher, Rinaa S. Punglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although the analysis of real-world data is the foundation of comparative effectiveness analysis, not all clinical questions are easily approached with patient-derived information. Decision analysis is a set of modeling and analytic tools that simulate treatment and disease processes, including the incorporation of patient preferences, thus generating optimal treatment strategies for varying patient, disease, and treatment conditions. Although decision analysis is informed by evidence-derived outcomes, its ability to test treatment strategies under different conditions that are realistic but not necessarily reported in the literature makes it a useful and complementary technique to more standard data analysis. Similarly, cost-effectiveness analysis is a discipline in which the relative costs and benefits of treatment alternatives are rigorously compared. With the well-recognized increase in highly technical, costly radiation therapy technologies, the cost-effectiveness of these different treatments would come under progressively more scrutiny. In this review, we discuss the theoretical and practical aspects of decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis, providing examples that highlight their methodology and utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Radiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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