Group Decision Making with the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Benefit-Risk Assessment: A Tutorial

  • J. Marjan HummelEmail author
  • John F. P. Bridges
  • Maarten J. IJzerman
Practical Application


The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) has been increasingly applied as a technique for multi-criteria decision analysis in healthcare. The AHP can aid decision makers in selecting the most valuable technology for patients, while taking into account multiple, and even conflicting, decision criteria. This tutorial illustrates the procedural steps of the AHP in supporting group decision making about new healthcare technology, including (1) identifying the decision goal, decision criteria, and alternative healthcare technologies to compare, (2) structuring the decision criteria, (3) judging the value of the alternative technologies on each decision criterion, (4) judging the importance of the decision criteria, (5) calculating group judgments, (6) analyzing the inconsistency in judgments, (7) calculating the overall value of the technologies, and (8) conducting sensitivity analyses. The AHP is illustrated via a hypothetical example, adapted from an empirical AHP analysis on the benefits and risks of tissue regeneration to repair small cartilage lesions in the knee.


Analytic Hierarchy Process Decision Alternative Analytic Network Process Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process Local Weight 
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The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest. Marjan Hummel contributed to conceptualizing the paper, developing the procedural steps of the AHP and the hypothetical case study, and to writing the draft manuscript and revising the final manuscript. John Bridges contributed to conceptualizing the paper, and reviewing and revising the drafts and final manuscript. Maarten IJzerman contributed to the conceptualization of the paper, the development of the hypothetical case study, and reviewing and revising the drafts and final manuscript. Marjan Hummel acts as a guarantor for the content of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Marjan Hummel
    • 1
    Email author
  • John F. P. Bridges
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maarten J. IJzerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Technology and Services Research, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical MedicineUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Health Policy and ManagementJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Technology and Services ResearchUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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