7. Evidence Synthesis in a Decision Modelling Framework

  1. Nicky J. Welton1,
  2. Alexander J. Sutton2,
  3. Nicola J. Cooper2,
  4. Keith R. Abrams2 and
  5. A.E. Ades1

Published Online: 3 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119942986.ch7

Evidence Synthesis for Decision Making in Healthcare

Evidence Synthesis for Decision Making in Healthcare

How to Cite

Welton, N. J., Sutton, A. J., Cooper, N. J., Abrams, K. R. and Ades, A.E. (2012) Evidence Synthesis in a Decision Modelling Framework, in Evidence Synthesis for Decision Making in Healthcare, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119942986.ch7

Author Information

  1. 1

    School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 11 MAY 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470061091

Online ISBN: 9781119942986



  • decision modelling;
  • evidence synthesis;
  • meta-analysis;
  • sensitivity analysis


Decision models are used to evaluate healthcare interventions. Data to parameterise such models are sometimes based on primary data collection, but more often rely on published or other secondary sources for cost and effectiveness information. This chapter extends the decision modelling framework to incorporate multiple data for each model parameter. A comprehensive approach to decision modelling is introduced that combines the whole process into a single coherent framework; that is, combines the meta-analysis, estimation of the model parameters, evaluation of the model and sensitivity analysis. The method is demonstrated through the use of a worked example, which evaluates the cost effectiveness of using prophylactic antibiotics in Caesarean section to reduce the incidence of wound infections. There are two approaches to analysing a decision model with uncertainty – the two-stage approach and the integrated approach. An essential tool for studying and validating the behaviour of any model is a sensitivity analysis.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

meta-analysis; sensitivity analysis