Deterministic sensitivity analyses (DSA) remain important to interpret the effect of uncertainties in individual parameters on results of cost-effectiveness analyses. Classic DSA methodologies may lead to wrong conclusions due to a lack of or misleading information regarding marginal effects, non-linearity, likelihood and correlations. In addition, tornado diagrams are misleading in some situations. Recent advances in DSA methods have the potential to provide decision makers with more reliable information regarding the effects of uncertainties in individual parameters. This practical application discusses advances to classic DSA methods and their implications. Three methods are discussed: stepwise DSA, distributional DSA and probabilistic DSA. For each method, the technical specifications, options for presenting results, and its implications for decision making are discussed. Options for visualizing DSA results in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and in incremental net benefits are presented. The use of stepwise DSA increases interpretability of marginal effects and non-linearities in the model, which is especially relevant when arbitrary ranges are implemented. Using the probability distribution of each parameter in distributional DSA provides insight on the likelihood of model outcomes while probabilistic DSA also includes the effects of correlations between parameters. Probabilistic DSA, preferably expressed in incremental net benefit, is the most appropriate method for providing insight on the effect of uncertainty in individual parameters on the estimate of cost effectiveness. However, the opportunities provided by probabilistic DSA may not always be needed for decision making. Other DSA methods, in particular distributional DSA, can sometimes be sufficient depending on model features. Decision makers must determine to which extent they will accept and implement these new and improved DSA methodologies and adjust guidelines accordingly.,
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Vreman, R.A. (Rick A.), Geenen, J.W. (Joost W.), Knies, S., Mantel-Teeuwisse, A., Leufkens, H., & Goettsch, W. (2020). The Application and Implications of Novel Deterministic Sensitivity Analysis Methods. PharmacoEconomics. doi:10.1007/s40273-020-00979-3