A Review of Problem Structuring Methods for aiding cost-effectiveness modelling

Client: Sheffield School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
Student: Rachel German
Supervisor: Professor Mike Pidd (MSc OR Project)


The aim of the project is to investigate where and how Problem Structuring Methods (PSMs) may add value in the cost-effectiveness modelling carried out by ScHARR. Three popular OR techniques, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Cognitive Mapping (CM) and the Strategic Choice Approach (SCA) were included.The study aimed to identify areas of uncertainty within the decision-making and model structuring of a cost-effectiveness model where PSMs may add value.

The implementation of SCA and CM has led to practical examples within health economics. SCA has added value in areas where there exist multiple decision strategies, all of which are, to some extent, flawed. Model building techniques call for transparency, rigour and reproducibility. The report also discusses how appropriate PSMs can be used to approach these issues and create standard model structuring procedures. The implementation of these techniques within ScHARR and the current modelling practice are also considered.