Determination of Weights for Health Related Quality of Life Indicators among Kidney Patients: A Fuzzy Decision Making Method
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- Abdullah, L. & Jamal, N.J. Applied Research Quality Life (2011) 6: 349. doi:10.1007/s11482-010-9133-3
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Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) is one of the significant current discussions in the health fraternity. It encompasses multidimensional indicators and serves the purpose of evaluating health quality among patients. Patients’ perceptions of the impact of disease and treatment and the indicators such as physical, psychological, social function and well being are normally investigated. However there is no clear suggestion of which indicators contributed more than others. The arbitrary nature of HRQoL paves the way for fuzzy theory in evaluation of indicators. This paper describes the application of a fuzzy decision making method in ranking indicators of HRQoL among kidney patients. Four experts in health fraternity were selected as decision makers to elicit information regarding health related status of chronic kidney disease patients over eight HRQoL indicators. The decision makers were required to rate the regularity of experiencing health-related problems in linguistic judgment among the patients. The five linguistics variables were used as input data to a modified version of Fuzzy Simple Additive Weight decision making model. The modified six-step method was possible to tap the extent of decision makers’ opinions on the severity of HRQoL experienced by the patients. It is shown that the indicator of role-physical recorded the lowest problematic level while the indicator of mental health recorded the highest problematic level experienced by the patients. The ranking signifies the impact of the indicators to health quality specifically the chronic kidney disease patients.