Comparison of different approaches applied in Analytic Hierarchy Process - An example of information needs of patients with rare diseases

Download statistics - Document (COUNTER):

Pauer, F.; Schmidt, Katharina; Babac, Ana; Damm, Kathrin; Frank, Martin et al.: Comparison of different approaches applied in Analytic Hierarchy Process - An example of information needs of patients with rare diseases. In: BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 16 (2016), Nr. 1, 117. DOI:

Repository version

To cite the version in the repository, please use this identifier:

Selected time period:


Sum total of downloads: 254

Background: The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is increasingly used to measure patient priorities. Studies have shown that there are several different approaches to data acquisition and data aggregation. The aim of this study was to measure the information needs of patients having a rare disease and to analyze the effects of these different AHP approaches. The ranking of information needs is then used to display information categories on a web-based information portal about rare diseases according to the patient's priorities. Methods: The information needs of patients suffering from rare diseases were identified by an Internet research study and a preliminary qualitative study. Hence, we designed a three-level hierarchy containing 13 criteria. For data acquisition, the differences in outcomes were investigated using individual versus group judgements separately. Furthermore, we analyzed the different effects when using the median and arithmetic and geometric means for data aggregation. A consistency ratio ≤0.2 was determined to represent an acceptable consistency level. Results: Forty individual and three group judgements were collected from patients suffering from a rare disease and their close relatives. The consistency ratio of 31 individual and three group judgements was acceptable and thus these judgements were included in the study. To a large extent, the local ranks for individual and group judgements were similar. Interestingly, group judgements were in a significantly smaller range than individual judgements. According to our data, the ranks of the criteria differed slightly according to the data aggregation method used. Conclusions: It is important to explain and justify the choice of an appropriate method for data acquisition because response behaviors differ according to the method. We conclude that researchers should select a suitable method based on the thematic perspective or investigated topics in the study. Because the arithmetic mean is very vulnerable to outliers, the geometric mean and the median seem to be acceptable alternatives for data aggregation. Overall, using the AHP to identify patient priorities and enhance the user-friendliness of information websites offers an important contribution to medical informatics.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2016
Appears in Collections:Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

distribution of downloads over the selected time period:

downloads by country:

pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 173 68.11%
2 image of flag of United States United States 30 11.81%
3 image of flag of No geo information available No geo information available 8 3.15%
4 image of flag of China China 6 2.36%
5 image of flag of Ukraine Ukraine 3 1.18%
6 image of flag of India India 3 1.18%
7 image of flag of Indonesia Indonesia 3 1.18%
8 image of flag of New Zealand New Zealand 2 0.79%
9 image of flag of Hungary Hungary 2 0.79%
10 image of flag of Algeria Algeria 2 0.79%
    other countries 22 8.66%

Further download figures and rankings:


Zur Erhebung der Downloadstatistiken kommen entsprechend dem „COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources“ international anerkannte Regeln und Normen zur Anwendung. COUNTER ist eine internationale Non-Profit-Organisation, in der Bibliotheksverbände, Datenbankanbieter und Verlage gemeinsam an Standards zur Erhebung, Speicherung und Verarbeitung von Nutzungsdaten elektronischer Ressourcen arbeiten, welche so Objektivität und Vergleichbarkeit gewährleisten sollen. Es werden hierbei ausschließlich Zugriffe auf die entsprechenden Volltexte ausgewertet, keine Aufrufe der Website an sich.

Search the repository