Original paper

The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 313-323

Decision-analytical modelling in health-care economic evaluations

  • Xin SunAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster UniversityChinese Evidence-Based Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University Email author 
  • , Thomas FaunceAffiliated withCollege of Law and Medical School, Australian National University

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Decision-analytical modelling is widely used in health-care economic evaluations, especially in situations where evaluators lack clinical trial data, and in circumstances where such evaluations factor into reimbursement pricing decisions. This paper aims to improve the understanding and use of modelling techniques in this context, with particular emphasis on Markov modelling.


We provide an overview, in this paper, of the principles and methodological details of decision-analytical modelling. We propose a common route for practicing modelling that accommodates any type of decision-analytical modelling techniques. We use the treatment of chronic hepatitis B as an example to indicate the process of development, presentation and analysis of the Markov model, and discuss the strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of different approaches.


Good practice of modelling requires careful planning, conduct and analysis of the model, and needs input from modellers and users.


Decision analysis Markov model Economic evaluation Cost-effectiveness analysis