HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

New methods paper on Sampling Ordered Parameters in Probabilistic Sensitivity Analysis

Image of Dr. Shijie Ren
Dr. Shijie Ren

Dr. Shijie Ren (also known as Kate Ren) has recently published a paper with some colleagues from HEDS and the University of Glasgow proposing a new method of sampling ordered parameters for use in cost-effectiveness analysis. Their new approach, known as the difference method (DM), is designed to address the difficulties of sampling parameters with a constraint in probabilistic sensitivity analysis, e.g., sampling utility associated with different severity levels of a disease.

Dr. Ren, who specialises in the application of Bayesian methods in health economics, argues that “Typical sampling approaches often lack either statistical or clinical validity.  For example, sampling using a common number generator results in extreme dependence, and independent sampling can lead to realisations with incorrect ordering.”

The DM approach uses a “difference parameter” to sample the parameters of interest; a method which generates ordered parameters with greater validity for use in probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

The article, published in Pharmacoeconomics, is available open-access and can be found (along with a Microsoft Excel workbook to implement the method) at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40273-017-0584-3