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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 9

of 'Decision analysis'

Primer on medical decision analysis: Part 5--Working with Markov processes.
Naimark D, Krahn MD, Naglie G, Redelmeier DA, Detsky AS
Med Decis Making. 1997;17(2):152.
Clinical decisions often have long-term implications. Analysis encounter difficulties when employing conventional decision-analytic methods to model these scenarios. This occurs because probability and utility variables often change with time and conventional decision trees do not easily capture this dynamic quality. A Markov analysis performed with current computer software programs provides a flexible and convenient means of modeling long-term scenarios. However, novices should be aware of several potential pitfalls when attempting to use these programs. When deciding how to model a given clinical problem, the analyst must weigh the simplicity and clarity of a conventional tree against the fidelity of a Markov analysis. In direct comparisons, both approaches gave the same qualitative answers.
University of Toronto Programme in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research (The Toronto Hospital and The Sunnybrook Health Science Centre Units), Ontario, Canada.