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This is the "Decision Modelling Using R" page of the "Welcome to Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative" guide.
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Last Updated: Apr 25, 2017 URL: http://theta.utoronto.ca/HomePage Print Guide

Decision Modelling Using R Print Page

Decision modelling using R

General information about the course

This course has ended. Please check our website in spring for the upcoming courses. 

Decision models are becoming more and more complex in order to better represent the underlying clinical conditions and to provide more and better insight to decision makers. New methodological techniques around decision modelling are being developed which rely heavily on statistical and mathematical techniques (e.g. model calibration, value of information, evidence synthesis). Current commercially available software can be limiting as they sometimes provide limited flexibility in embedding such statistical techniques within a decision model framework.

R is an open-source software that provides a flexible environment where advanced statistical analyses can be combined with decision models of varying complexity within the same framework and the results can be presented in publication ready tabular and graphical forms. The fact that R is freely available also improves model transparency and reproducibility.

SickKids and the THETA collaborative together with Hawre Jalal PhD from University of Pittsburg and Fernando Alarid Escudero PhD(c) from University of Minnesota will be providing a 3-day workshop on decision modelling using R February 7th to 9th, 2017 at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, Toronto, Canada

Participant experience

Participants will be expected to have some experience with decision modelling and to be able to grasp basic concepts of economic evaluation. Participants are also expected to be familiar with R. For those with no or little experience in R, we will be providing an extra one-day "Introduction to R for decision modellers" webinar on Monday, February 6th, 2017.  

Contact information & location details

The course will be provided at:

The Hospital for Sick Children
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research & Learning
686 Bay Street—L6 East
Toronto, ON M5G 0A4
11th floor RM 11-119701

3-Day Event from 9 AM- 5 PM:

  • Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
  • Wednesday, February 8th 2017
  • Thursday, February 9th, 2017

There will also be an option for real-time, interactive webinar participation in the course (for details about fees please see here)

For more information please contact: natasha.naraidoo@sickkids.ca



Please find below a list of the topics that will be covered across the three days. (NOTE: This is a proposed structure. Changes in the topics and the order across the three days are likely to happen until the course date)

Day 1: Introduction to decision modelling using R

  • Choosing between alternative decision modelling software- the advantages and disadvantages of R
  • A brief introduction to R
  • A (very) brief introduction to matrix algebra
  • Conceptualizing and operationalizing decision models in R
  • Building a decision tree based model (deterministic analysis)
  • Building a state-transition model (deterministic analysis)

Day 2: Advanced topics in decision modelling using R

  • Conceptualizing and operationalizing microsimulation models in R
  • Building a microsimulation model
  • Distributions and sampling processes in R
  • Advanced topics in decision modeling/model calibration
  • Evidence synthesis and decision modeling in R

Day 3: Probabilistic models in R

  • Parameter uncertainty in decision trees/ state transition/microsimulation models
  • Introduction to meta-modeling 
  • Introduction to Value Of Information in R
  • Analyzing and presenting the results of a probabilistic model in R.



Faculty Members 2017

Petros Pechlivanoglou , M.Sc., PhD, Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Fernando Alarid-Escudero, M.Econ., PhD(c), School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Hawre Jalal, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management and Public Health Dynamic Laboratory, Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh, PA

Mohammad Kaviul Kahn, MSc (Biostatistics), MSc (Epidemiology), Research Coordinator (Biostatistician), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

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Fees & Registration

3-Day Event from 9 AM- 5 PM:

  • Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
  • Wednesday, February 8th 2017
  • Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Register for this course here.
For more information please contact: natasha.naraidoo@sickkids.ca

Registration Opens: November 7, 2016

Registration Closes: February 5, 2017

Course Fee:  

Student Rate: $300 in person; $200 by webinar
For all others
Early Bird Rate: $600 in person; $350 by webinar (ends Jan. 13th 2017)
Regular Rate: $700 in person; $400 by webinar

Note! There will be a limit of 25 (+25 webinar ) participants 
  • Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto
  • Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME)
  • UHN - Toronto General Hospital

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