Open Access
February 2004 Incorporating Bayesian Ideas into Health-Care Evaluation
David J. Spiegelhalter
Statist. Sci. 19(1): 156-174 (February 2004). DOI: 10.1214/088342304000000080


We argue that the Bayesian approach is best seen as providing additional tools for those carrying out health-care evaluations, rather than replacing their traditional methods. A distinction is made between those features that arise from the basic Bayesian philosophy and those that come from the modern ability to make inferences using very complex models. Selected examples of the former include explicit recognition of the wide cast of stakeholders in any evaluation, simple use of Bayes theorem and use of a community of prior distributions. In the context of complex models, we selectively focus on the possible role of simple Monte Carlo methods, alternative structural models for incorporating historical data and making inferences on complex functions of indirectly estimated parameters. These selected issues are illustrated by two worked examples presented in a standardized format. The emphasis throughout is on inference rather than decision-making.


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David J. Spiegelhalter. "Incorporating Bayesian Ideas into Health-Care Evaluation." Statist. Sci. 19 (1) 156 - 174, February 2004.


Published: February 2004
First available in Project Euclid: 14 July 2004

zbMATH: 1057.62105
MathSciNet: MR2086325
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/088342304000000080

Keywords: Bayes theorem , cost-effectiveness analysis , data monitoring committee , decision theory , historical data , Prior distributions , sceptical prior distribution

Rights: Copyright © 2004 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Vol.19 • No. 1 • February 2004
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