Structured expert judgment to characterize uncertainty between PM 2.5 exposure and mortality in Chile

Pamela C. Cisternas, Nicolas C. Bronfman, Raquel B. Jimenez, Luis A. Cifuentes, Cristobal De La Maza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To further the understanding and implementation of expert elicitation methods in the evaluation of public policies related to air pollution, the present study's main goal was to explore the potential strengths and weaknesses of structured expert judgment (SEJ) methodology as a way to derive a C-R function for chronic PM2.5 exposure and premature mortality in Chile. Local experts were classified in two groups according to background and experience: physicians (Group 1) and engineers (Group 2). Experts were required to provide an estimate of the true percent change in nonaccidental mortality resulting from a permanent 1 μg/m3 reduction in PM2.5 annual average ambient concentration across the entire Chilean territory. Cooke's Classical Model was used to combine the individual experts' assessments. Experts' mortality estimations varied markedly across groups: while experts in Group 1 delivered higher estimations than those reported in major international cohort studies, estimations from Group 2 were, to varying degrees, anchored to previous studies. Accordingly, combined distributions for each group and all experts were significantly different, due to the high sensitivity of the weighted distribution to experts' performance in calibration variables. Results of this study suggest that, while the use of SEJ has great potential for estimating C-R functions for chronic exposure to PM2.5 and premature mortality and its major sources of uncertainty in countries where no studies are available, its successful implementation is conditioned by a number of factors, which are analyzed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9717-9727
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Medicine


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