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Dennis Fryback, PhD

  • Professor Emeritus, Population Health Sciences
  • Professor Emeritus, Industrial and Systems Engineering


Professor Fryback joined the faculty at UW in 1975 and retired from active teaching and mentoring in 2008. He specialized in methodological issues underpinning medical decision making, cost-effectiveness analysis of health care interventions, and health policy. Evaluation of imaging technologies, computer simulation applied to understanding natural history of breast cancer, evaluation of preventive interventions, and application of Bayesian analysis to cost-effectiveness computations, and application of health-related quality of life measures to populations are among the projects he headed. He continues to conduct research using the data set he helped to create, the National Health Measurement Study, which is now publicly available.

Dr. Fryback was a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force and also of the US Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, two working groups which have been influential for US policy about comparative effectiveness research methods in health care. Among many honors he received are the career achievement award of the Society for Medical Decision Making, which he helped to found over 30 years ago, and election to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies.

An occasional visitor to Population Health Sciences, Dr. Fryback now resides in Huntington Beach, California.

Professor Fryback developed PHS 875: Assessing Medical Technologies, and taught it from 1989 to 2003. He also redeveloped the course PHS 876: Measuring Health Outcomes, and taught it from 2004-2007. He co-developed and organized the PHS undergraduate introduction to population health sciences course.


  • Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM)
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Select Publications

Fryback DG, Thornbury JR. The Efficacy of Diagnostic Imaging. Med Decis Making 1991; 11(2): 88-94.

Frame PS, Fryback DG, Patterson C. Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Men Ages 60 to 80 Years. A Cost-Effective Analysis. Ann Intern Med 1993; 119(5): 411-6.

Fryback DG, Desbach EJ, lein BE, Dorn N, Peterson K, et al. The Beaver Dam Health Outcomes Study: Initial Catalog of Health-State Quality Factors. Med Decis Making 1993; 13(2): 89-102.

Albertsen PC, Fryback DG, Storer BE, Kolon TF, Fine J. Long-Term Survival Among Men with Conservatively Treated Localized Prostate Cancer. JAMA 1995; 274(8): 626-31.

Gold MR, Siegel JE, Russei iLB, Weinsten MC [Eds.] Cost-Effectiveness In Health and Medicine. Oxford University Press, 1996. (Contributing Panel member.)

Rosenberg MA, Fryback DG, Lawrence WF. Computing Population-Based Estimates of Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy. Med Decls Making 1999; 19(1): 90-7.

Smith JE, Winkler Rl, Fryback DG. The First Positive: Computing Positive Predictive Value at the Extremes. Annals of Internal Medicine 2000; 132: 804-809.

Gold MR, Stevenson D, Fryback DG. HALYS and QALYS and DALYS, Oh My: Similarities and Differences in Summary Measures of Population Health. Annual Review of Public Health 2002; 23: 115-134.

Berry DA, Cronin KA, Plevritis SK, Fryback DG, Clarke L, Zelen M, Mandelblatt JS, Yakovlev AY, Habbema JDF, and Feuer EJ, for the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) Collaborators. Effect of Screening and Adjuvant Therapy on Mortality From Breast Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 2005; 353: 1784-1792.

Fryback DG, Stout NK, Rosenberg MA, Trentham-Dietz A, Kuruchittham V, Remington PL. Chapter 7: The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Epidemiology Simulation Model. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs 2006 (36): 37-47.

Stout NK, Rosenberg MA, Trentham-Dietz A, Smith MA, Robinson SM, Fryback DG. Retrospective Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Screening Mammography. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2006; 98(11): 774 -782.

Hanmer JE, Lawrence WF, Anderson JP, Kaplan RM, Fryback DG. Report of Nationally Representative Values for the Non-Institutionalized US Adult Population for Seven Health Related Quality of Life Scores. Medical Decision Making 2006; 26(4): 391-400.

Fryback DG, Dunham NC, Palta M, Hanmer J, Buechner J, Cherepanov D, Herrington S, Hays RD, Kaplan RM, Ganiats TG, Feeny D, Kind P. US Norms for Six Generic Health-Related Quality-of-Life Indexes From the National Health Measurement Study. Medica/Care 2007; 45(12): 1162-1170.

Tosteson ANA, Stout NK, Fryback DG, Acharyya S, Herman B, Hanna l, Pisano E. Cost-Effectiveness of Digital Mammography Breast Cancer Screening. Ann Intern Med 2008; 148(1): 1-10.

Trentham-Dietz A, Sprague Bl, Klein R, Klein BEK, Cruickshanks KJ, Fryback DG, Hampton JM. Health-Related Quality of Life Before and After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2008; 109(2); 379-387. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Robert SA, Cherepanov D, Palta M, Cross Dunham N, Feeny D, Fryback DG. Socioeconomic Status and Age Variations in Health-Related Quality of Life: Results From the National Health Measurement Study. J Gerontal B Psycho/Sci Soc Sci 2009 May; 64(3): 378-89. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

Fryback DG, Palta M, Cherepanov D, Bolt D, Kim J-S. Comparison of Five Health­ Related Quality-of-Life Indexes Using Item Response Theory Analysis. Medical Decision Making 2010 Jan-Feb; 30(1): 5-15.

Cherepanov D, Palta M, Fryback DG. Underlying Dimensions of the Five Health-Related Quality-of-Life Indexes Used in Utility Assessment: Evidence From the National Health Measurement Study. Medical Care 2010 Aug; 48(8): 718-25. PMID: 20613664.

Cherepanov D, Palta M, Fryback DG, Robert SA. Gender Differences in Health-Related Quality-of-Life are Partly Explained by Sociodemographic and Socioeconomic Variation Between Adult Men and Women in the US: Evidence From Four US Nationally Representative Data Sets. Quality of Life Research Oct; 19(8): 1115-24. Epub 2010 May 23. Erratum in: Qual Life Res 2010 Oct; 19(8): 1125. PMID: 20496168.

Palta M, Chen H-Y, Kaplan RM, Feeny D, Cherepanov D, Fryback DG. Measurement Error of Five Health Utility Indexes Across the Range of Health for Use in Estimating Reliability and Responsiveness. Medical Decision Making 2011 Mar-Apr; 31(2): 260-9. Epub 2010 Oct 8. PMID:20935280.

Bentley TGK, Palta M, Paulsen A, Cherepanov D, Cross Dunham N, Feeny D, Kaplan RM, Fryback DG. Measuring the Impact of Obesity on Health-Related Quality of Life Using Six Standard Indexes and Three Summary Measures. Quality of Life Research 2011, 20(5): 665-674.

Pereira CCA, Palta M, Mullahy J, Fryback DG. Race and Preference-Based Health­ Related Quality of Life Measures in the United States. Quality of Life Research 2011 Aug; 20(6): 969-78.

Khanna D, Maranian P, Palta M, Kaplan RM, Hays RD, Cherepanov D, Fryback DG. Health-Related Quality of Life in Adults Reporting Arthritis: Analysis From the National Health Measurement Study. Quality of Life Research 2011 Sep; 20(7): 1131-40.

Cherepanov D, Palta M, Fryback DG, Robert SA, Hays RD, Kaplan RM. Gender Differences in Multiple Underlying Dimensions of Health-Related Quality of Life are Associated with Sociodemographic and Socioeconomic Status. Medical Care 2011; Nov, 49(11): 1021-30.