Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA)

Imagine you must make a tough decision in health care. The budgets are limited. There are several options to choose from. Political and social pressures are high. Certainty around the results of the evidence presented is low. There is no guide available.

Welcome! This is the world of most decision makers in healthcare.

You will need tools. Some of the standard tools available have been criticized [1]:

  • They can´t capture social value.
  • They do not allow for an explicit judgement of some criteria.
  • You might need a reference value to make your decision.
  • Etc.

If people understand your rationale, they will be more likely to validate your decision. So, a complementary tool might be handy.

MCDA in health care – it is used to complement, not replace other tools

Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a tool to support decision making in health care. It complements other tools. It does not replace them.

The more complex the decisions, the more useful it will be.

Why? Because it is structured. It is multidisciplinary. It is transparent. It is systematic. And it incorporates several criteria. Hold your thoughts: we will come back to that.

This is why its use increases year over year.

MCDA can be used for several purposes. From evaluating a drug, to classifying diseases, shared decision making, etc.

In our next blog post, we will explain how it is done. Follow us on LinkedIn:


  1. Angelis A, Lange A, Kanavos P. Using health technology assessment to assess the value of new medicines: results of a systematic review and expert consultation across eight European countries. Eur J Health Econ. 2018;19(1):123–52.