J Raftery

University of Southampton, Southampton, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (22)85.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A discrete event simulation model of the patient pathways in the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD) was used to quantify the health gains and costs associated with increasing secondary prevention drugs prescription for patients with CHD based on the level recommended in the National Service Framework for the UK. A Gompertz distribution was sampled for time to failure (death or non-fatal heart attack). The time to failure was modified in relation to the reduced risk of failure for those on the relevant drugs. The results from the model were validated against national data. Increasing the levels of prescription of secondary prevention drugs to those patients with CHD might prevent 100 deaths per million population per year and cost an additional £4 million per million population per year. With cost per life year saved of £5520, this appears good value for money compared with other health technologies.Journal of the Operational Research Society (2008) 59, 1173-1181. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602468 Published online 1 August 2007
    Journal of the Operational Research Society 08/2008; 59(9):1173-1181. · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the outcomes of home-based (using the Heart Manual) and centre-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes. Randomised controlled trial and parallel economic evaluation. Predominantly inner-city, multi-ethnic population in the West Midlands, England. 525 patients referred to four hospitals for cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction or coronary revascularisation. A home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme compared with centre-based programmes. Smoking cessation, blood pressure (systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP)), total cholesterol (TC) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, psychological status (HADS anxiety and depression) and exercise capacity (incremental shuttle walking test, ISWT) measured at 12 months. Health service resource use, quality of life utility and costs were quantified. There were no significant differences in the main outcomes when the home-based was compared with the centre-based programme at 12 months. Adjusted mean difference (95% CI) for SBP was 1.94 mm Hg (-1.1 to 5.0); DBP 0.42 mm Hg (-1.25 to 2.1); TC 0.1 mmol/l (-0.05 to 0.24); HADS anxiety -0.02 (-0.69 to 0.65); HADS depression -0.35 (-0.95 to 0.25); distance on ISWT -21.5 m (-48.3 to 5.2). The relative risk of being a smoker in the home arm was 0.90. The cost per patient to the NHS was significantly higher in the home arm at 198 pounds, (95% CI 189 to 208) compared to 157 pounds (95% CI 139 to 175) in the centre-based arm. However when the patients' cost of travel was included, these differences were no longer significant. Conclusions A home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme does not produce inferior outcomes when compared to traditional centre-based programmes as provided in the United Kingdom.
    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 04/2008; 95(1):36-42. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a home-based programme of cardiac rehabilitation using the Heart Manual, with centre-based programmes. It also sought to explore the reasons for non-adherence to cardiac rehabilitation programmes. An individually randomised trial, with minimisation for age, gender, ethnicity, initial diagnosis and hospital of recruitment. Participants were followed up after 6, 12 and 24 months by questionnaire and clinical assessment. Individual semistructured interviews were undertaken in the homes of a purposive sample of patients who did not adhere to their allocated programme, and focus groups were undertaken with groups of patients who adhered to the programmes. Four hospitals in predominantly inner-city, multi-ethnic, socio-economically deprived areas of the West Midlands in England, for 2 years from 1 February 2002. A total of 525 patients who had experienced a myocardial infarction (MI) or coronary revascularisation within the previous 12 weeks. All the rehabilitation programmes included exercise, relaxation, education and lifestyle counselling. All patients were seen by a cardiac rehabilitation nurse prior to hospital discharge and provided with information about their condition and counselling about risk factor modification. The four centre-based programmes varied in length from nine sessions at weekly intervals of education, relaxation and circuit training to 24 individualised sessions over 12 weeks of mainly walking, fixed cycling and rowing with group-based education. The home-based programme consisted of an appropriate version of the Heart Manual, home visits and telephone contact. The Heart Manual was introduced to patients on an individual basis, either in hospital or on a home visit. Home visits by a nurse took place at approximately 1, 6 and 12 weeks after recruitment, with a telephone call at 3 weeks. At the final visit, patients were encouraged to maintain their lifestyle changes and to continue with their exercise programme. Where needed, follow-up was made by a rehabilitation nurse who spoke Punjabi. An audiotape of an abridged version of the Heart Manual in Punjabi accompanied the manual for patients with a limited command of English. Primary outcomes were smoking cessation, blood pressure, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, exercise capacity measured by the incremental shuttle walking test and psychological status measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Secondary outcomes included self-reported diet, physical activity, cardiac symptoms and quality of life. Health service resource use and costs of rehabilitation programmes from health service and societal perspectives were also measured. Adherence to the physical activity element of the rehabilitation programmes was measured by questionnaire 6, 9 and 12 weeks. No clinically or statistically significant differences were found in any of the primary or secondary outcome measures between the home- and centre-based groups. Significant improvements in total cholesterol, smoking prevalence, the HADS anxiety score, self-reported physical activity and diet were seen in both arms between baseline and the 6-month follow-up. Five or more contacts with a cardiac rehabilitation nurse were received by 96% of home-based participants, whereas only 56% of centre-based participants attended this many rehabilitation classes. The direct rehabilitation costs to the health service were significantly higher for the home-based programme (mean cost 198 pounds versus 157 pounds for the centre-based programme), but when patient costs were included the mean cost of the centre-based arm rose to 182 pounds. Patients' reasons for not taking up or adhering to cardiac rehabilitation were multifactorial and very individual. Other health problems limited some patients' ability to exercise. Most non-adherers found some aspects of their cardiac rehabilitation programme helpful. Many had adapted advice on rehabilitation and were continuing to exercise in other ways and had made lifestyle changes, particularly to their diet. The home-based patients' lack of motivation to exercise on their own at home was a major factor in non-adherence. The focus groups revealed little diversity of views among patients from each programme. Patients in the hospital programme enjoyed the camaraderie of group exercise and the home-based patients valued the wealth of information and advice in the Heart Manual. A home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme for low- to moderate-risk patients does not produce inferior outcomes compared with the traditional centre-based programmes. With the level of home visiting in this trial, the home-based programme was more costly to the health service, but with the difference in costs borne by patients attending centre-based programmes. Different reasons were given by home and hospital cardiac rehabilitation patients for not taking up or adhering to cardiac rehabilitation, with home-based patients often citing a lack of motivation to exercise at home. Social characteristics, individual patient needs and the location of cardiac rehabilitation programmes need to be taken into account in programme design to maximise participation. Research is recommended into cardiac rehabilitation in patients from ethnic minority groups; measurement tools to assess physical activity and dietary change; evaluating the Heart Manual in patients who decline centre-based cardiac rehabilitation; the implementation of home-based programmes in the UK; and strategies that sustain physical activity in the long term.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 10/2007; 11(35):1-118. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of epoetin alpha, epoetin beta and darbepoetin alpha (referred to collectively in this report as epo) in anaemia associated with cancer, especially that attributable to cancer treatment. Electronic databases were searched from 2000 (1996 in the case of darbepoetin alpha) to September 2004. Using a recently published Cochrane review as the starting point, a systematic review of recent randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing epo with best standard was conducted. Inclusion, quality assessment and data abstraction were undertaken in duplicate. Where possible, meta-analysis was employed. The economic assessment consisted of a systematic review of past economic evaluations, an assessment of economic models submitted by the manufacturers of the three epo agents and development of a new individual sampling model (the Birmingham epo model). In total 46 RCTs were included within this systematic review, 27 of which had been included in the Cochrane systematic review. All 46 trials compared epo plus supportive care for anaemia (including transfusions), with supportive care for anaemia (including transfusions), alone. Haematological response (defined as an improvement by 2 g/dl(-1)) had a relative risk of 3.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.0 to 3.8, 22 RCTs] with a response rate for epo of 53%. The trial duration was most commonly 16-20 weeks. There was little statistical heterogeneity in the estimate of haematological response, and there were no important differences between the subgroups examined. Haemoglobin (Hb) change showed a weighted mean difference of 1.63 g/dl(-1) (95% CI 1.46 to 1.80) in favour of epo. Treatment with erythropoietin in patients with cancer-induced anaemia reduces the number of patients who receive a red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) by an estimated 18%. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data were analysed using vote counting and qualitative assessment and a positive effect was observed in favour of an improved HRQoL for patients on epo. Published information on side-effects was of poor quality. New trials provided further evidence of side-effects with epo, particularly thrombic events, but it is still unclear whether these could be accounted for by chance alone. The results of the previous Cochrane review had suggested a survival advantage for epo (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.02), based on 19 RCTs. The update, based on 28 RCTs, suggests no difference (HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.21). Subgroup analysis suggested some explanations for this heterogeneity, but it is difficult to draw firm conclusions without access to the substantial amounts of missing or unpublished data, or more detailed results from some of the trials with heterogeneous patient populations. The conclusions are, however, broadly in line with those of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety briefing, which recommended that patients with a haemoglobin above 12 g/dl(-1) should not be treated; the target rate of rise in Hb should not be too great, and further carefully conducted trials are required to determine which subgroups of patients may be harmed by the use of these products, in particular through the stimulation of tumour activity. Five published economic evaluations identified from the literature had inconsistent results, with estimates ranging from a cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) under pound 10,000 through to epo being less effective and more costly than standard care. The more favourable evaluations assumed a survival advantage for epo. The three company models submitted each relied on assumed survival gains to achieve relatively low cost per QALY, from pound 13,000 to pound 28,000, but generated estimates from pound 84,000 to pound 159,000 per QALY when no survival gain was assumed. Each of these models relied on Hb levels alone driving utility, and each assumed gradual normalisation of Hb in the standard treatment arm after the end of treatment. The Birmingham epo model followed the company models in regard to the relationship between Hb levels and utility, and also assumed normalisation in the base case. With no survival gain, the incremental cost per QALY was pound 150,000, falling to pound 40,000 when the lower, more favourable, confidence interval for survival was used. Epo is effective in improving haematological response and reducing RBCT requirements, and appears to have a positive effect on HRQoL. The incidence of side-effects and effects on survival remains highly uncertain. However, if there is no impact on survival, it seems highly unlikely that epo would be considered a cost-effective use of healthcare resources. The main target for further research should be improving estimates of impact on survival, initially through more detailed secondary research, such as the individual patient data meta-analysis started by the Cochrane group. Further trials may be required, and have been recommended by the FDA, although many trials are in progress, completed but unreported or awaiting mature follow-up. The Birmingham epo model developed as part of this project contains new features that improve its flexibility in exploring different scenarios; further refinement and validation would therefore be of assistance. Finally, further research to resolve uncertainty about other parameters, particularly quality of life, adverse events, and the rate of normalisation, would also be beneficial.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 05/2007; 11(13):1-202, iii-iv. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: People receiving a renal transplant require long-term treatment with immunosuppressant drugs. Contemporary regimens usually include a calcineurin inhibitor (CI), either ciclosporin or tacrolimus, in conjunction with at least one other drug. The aim of this study was to review the economic literature relating to the choice of CIs in patients following renal transplantation, with the specific intention of highlighting the challenges in estimating their cost effectiveness.A systematic literature search and narrative analysis was carried out, and 12 studies of varying quality and complexity were reviewed. All of the studies compared ciclosporin, azathioprine and a corticosteroid (CAS) with tacrolimus, azathioprine and a corticosteroid (TAS) but only three also evaluated the costs and effects of other possible treatment regimens. A variety of different evaluative frameworks were employed, from single randomised controlled trial-based studies over relatively short-time periods (6 months) to more complex Bayesian modelling techniques.The studies were broadly consistent in concluding that TAS was more effective than CAS in terms of reducing the rate of acute rejection episodes. Of the studies that undertook decision modelling, all but one estimated that TAS was associated with better graft-related outcomes such as rejection-free life-years, patient-survival and QALYs. Six of the studies concluded that the healthcare costs associated with TAS were lower than those for CAS. A seventh study suggested that TAS was the least costly option if costs were considered over a relatively long time period (14 years). Only one study clearly concluded that CAS was more cost effective than TAS.Clinical evidence clearly shows that TAS is more effective than CAS in terms of reducing the incidence of acute rejection following renal transplantation. The majority of published economic evaluations suggest that TAS is also the more cost-effective option. However, the economic evaluations contained a number of methodological limitations, undermining the confidence that can be attached to their results. Future economic evaluations of the CIs, and immunosuppressants in general, should address these issues in order to produce more robust cost-effectiveness estimates. Most importantly, they should evaluate a wider range of potential treatment options.
    PharmacoEconomics 02/2007; 25(11):935-47. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To review the clinical and cost-effectiveness of basiliximab, daclizumab, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), mycophenolate sodium (MPS) and sirolimus as possible immunosuppressive therapies for renal transplantation in children. Electronic databases were searched up to November 2004. Data from selected studies were extracted and quality assessed. An economic model [Birmingham Sensitivity Analysis paediatrics (BSAp)] was produced based on an adaptation of a model previously developed for the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of immunosuppressants in adults following renal transplant. For the addition of basiliximab, one unpublished paediatric randomised control trial (RCT), reported that the addition of basiliximab to tacrolimus-based triple therapy (BTAS) failed to significantly improve 6-month biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR), graft function, graft loss and all-cause mortality. No significant difference between groups was seen in 6-month or 1-year or longer graft loss, all-cause mortality and side-effects. In a meta-analysis of adult RCTs, the addition of basiliximab to a ciclosporin, azathioprine and steroid regimen (CAS) significantly reduced short-term BPAR. There was no significant difference in short- or long-term graft loss, all-cause mortality or side-effects. One adult RCT was included for the addition of daclizumab to CAS, which reported reduced 1-year BPAR, although no difference between groups was seen in either 1- or 3-year graft loss, all-cause mortality and side-effects. For tacrolimus versus ciclosporin, one unpublished paediatric RCT found that a regimen of tacrolimus, azathioprine and a steroid (TAS) reduced 6-month BPAR and improved graft function [glomerular filtration rate (GFR)] compared with CAS. This improvement in BPAR with tacrolimus was as shown in the meta-analysis of adult RCTs. There was evidence, particularly in children, that in comparison with ciclosporin, tacrolimus may reduce long-term graft loss, although there is no benefit on total mortality. The total level of withdrawal in children was reduced in children receiving tacrolimus. Adult RCTs showed an increase in post-transplant diabetes mellitus with tacrolimus. For MMF versus azathioprine, a meta-analysis of adult RCTs showed MMF [regimen of ciclosporin, MMF and a steroid (CMS)] to reduce 1-year BPAR compared with azathioprine (CAS). There was evidence, particularly in children, that in comparison with azathioprine, tacrolimus may reduce long-term graft loss, although there is no benefit on total mortality. There was an increase in the level of cytomegalovirus infection with MMF, although the overall level of withdrawal due to adverse events was not different to that of azathioprine-treated adults. No study comparing MPS with azathioprine (CAS) was identified. In an adult RCT comparing MMF with MPS, there was no significant difference between groups in 1-year efficacy or side-effects. One unpublished paediatric RCT assessed the addition of sirolimus to CAS. BPAR, graft loss and all-cause mortality were not reported. In two adult RCTs, compared with azathioprine, sirolimus reduced 1-year BPAR, reduced graft function (as assessed by an increased serum creatinine) and increased the level of hyperlipidaemia. No significant differences were seen in other efficacy and side-effect outcomes. On an adult RCT comparing sirolimus with ciclosporin, there were no significant differences between groups in 1-year efficacy or side-effects with the exception of an increased level of hyperlipidaemia with sirolimus substitution. Both the assessment group and drug companies assessed the cost-effectiveness of the newer renal immunosuppressants currently licensed in children using an adaptation (BSAp) of the Birmingham Sensitivity Analysis (BSA) model. This model is based on a 10-year extrapolation of 1-year BPAR results sourced from paediatric RCTs or adult RCTs (where paediatric RCTs were not available). The addition of basiliximab and that of daclizumab to CAS was found to increase quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and decreased overall costs, a finding that was robust to sensitivity analyses. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of replacing ciclosporin with tacrolimus was highly sensitive to the selection of the hazard ratio for graft loss from acute rejection, dialysis costs and the incorporation (or not) of side-effects. The ICERs for tacrolimus versus ciclosporin ranged from about 46,000 pounds/QALY to about 146,000 pounds/QALY. Although sensitive to varying the hazard ratio for graft loss with acute rejection, the ICER for replacing azathioprine with MMF remained in excess of 55,000 pounds/QALY. In general, compared with a regimen of ciclosporin, azathioprine and steroid, the newer immunosuppressive agents consistently reduced the incidence of short-term biopsy-proven acute rejection. However, evidence of the impact on side-effects, long-term graft loss, compliance and overall health-related quality of life is limited. Cost-effectiveness was estimated based on the relationship between short-term acute rejection levels from RCTs and long-term graft loss. Both the addition of daclizumab and that of basiliximab were found to be dominant strategies, that is, regarding cost savings and increased QALYs. The incremental cost-effectiveness of tacrolimus relative to ciclosporin was highly sensitive to key model parameter values and therefore may well be a cost-effective strategy. The incremental cost-effectiveness of MMF compared with azathioprine, although also sensitive to model parameter, was unattractive. There is a particular need for RCTs to assess the use of MMF, MPS and daclizumab for renal transplantation in children where no such evidence currently exists. Future comparative studies need to report not only on the impact of the newer immunosuppressants on short- and long-term clinical outcomes but also on side-effects, compliance, healthcare resource, costs and health-related quality of life.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 01/2007; 10(49):iii-iv, ix-xi, 1-157. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews models for the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD). Whereas most of the models described were developed to assess the cost effectiveness of different treatment strategies, other models have also been used to extrapolate clinical trials, for capacity and resource planning, or to predict the future population with heart disease. In this paper we investigate the use of modelling techniques in relation to different types of health intervention, and we discuss the assumptions and limitations of these approaches. Many of the models reviewed in this paper use decision tree models for acute or short term interventions, and Markov or state transition models for chronic or long term interventions. Discrete event simulation has, however, been used for more complex whole system models, and for modelling resource-constrained interventions and operational planning. Nearly all of the studies in our review used cohort-based models rather than population based models, and therefore few models could estimate the likely total costs and benefits for a population group. Most studies used de novo purpose built models consisting of only a small number of health states. Models of the whole disease system were less common. The model descriptions were often incomplete. We recommend that the reporting of model structure, assumptions and input parameters is more explicit, to reduce the risk of biased reporting and ensure greater confidence in the model results. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006
    Health Care Management Science 02/2006; 9(4):311-324. · 1.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To quantify the health gains and costs associated with improving ambulance and thrombolysis response times for acute myocardial infarction. A computer simulation model. PATIENTS/SETTINGS: Patients experiencing acute myocardial infarction in England. Improving the ambulance response time to 75% of calls reached within 8 minutes and the hospital arrival to thrombolysis time interval (door-to-needle time) to 75% receiving it within 30 minutes and 20 minutes, compared to best estimates of response times in the mid-1990s. Deaths prevented, life years saved, and discounted cost per life year saved. Improving the ambulance response to 75% of calls within 8 minutes resulted in an estimate of 5 deaths prevented or 57 life years saved per million population per year, with a discounted incremental cost per life year saved of 8540 pounds sterling over 20 years. The corresponding benefit of improving the door-to-needle time to 75% of myocardial infarction patients within 30 minutes was an estimated 2 deaths prevented and 15 life years saved per million population per year, with a discounted incremental cost per life year saved of between 10,150 pounds sterling to 54,230 pounds sterling over 20 years. Little further gain was associated with reaching the 20 minute target. Combining ambulance and thrombolysis targets resulted in 70 life years saved per million population per year. Improving ambulance response times appears to be cost effective. Reducing door-to-needle time will have a smaller effect at an uncertain cost. Further benefits may be gained from reducing the time from onset of symptoms to starting thrombolysis.
    Emergency Medicine Journal 02/2006; 23(1):67-72. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Emergency Medicine Journal 01/2006; 23:67-72. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of parent training programmes for the treatment of children with conduct disorder (CD) up to the age of 18 years. Electronic databases. For the effectiveness review, relevant studies were identified and evaluated. A quantitative synthesis of behavioural outcomes across trials was also undertaken using two approaches: vote counting and meta-analysis. The economic analysis consisted of reviewing previous economic/cost evaluations of parent training/education programmes and the economic information within sponsor's submissions; carrying out a detailed exploration of costs of parent training/education programmes; and a de novo modelling assessment of the cost-effectiveness of parent training/education programmes. The potential budget impact to the health service of implementing such programmes was also considered. Many of the 37 randomised controlled trials that met the review inclusion and exclusion criteria were assessed as being of poor methodological quality. Studies were clinically heterogeneous in terms of the population, type of parent training/education programme and content, setting, delivery, length and child behaviour outcomes used. Both vote counting and meta-analysis revealed a consistent trend across all studies towards short-term effectiveness (up to 4 months) of parent training/education programmes (compared with control) as measured by a change in child behaviour. Pooled estimates showed a statistically significant improvement on the Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory frequency and intensity scales, the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System and the Child Behaviour Checklist. No studies reported a statistically significant result favouring control over parent training/education programmes. There were few statistically significant differences between different parent training/education programmes, although there was a trend towards more intensive interventions (e.g. longer contact hours, additional child involvement) being more effective. The cost of treating CD is high, with costs incurred by many agencies. A recent study suggested that by age 28, costs for individuals with CD were around 10 times higher than for those with no problems, with a mean cost of 70,019 pounds sterling. Criminality incurs the greatest cost, followed by educational provision, foster and residential care and state benefits. Only a small proportion of these costs fall on health services. Using a 'bottom-up' costing approach, the costs per family of providing parent training/education programmes range from 629 pounds sterling to 3839 pounds sterling depending on the type and style of delivery. Using the conservative assumption that there are no cost savings from treatment, a total lifetime quality of life gain of 0.1 would give a cost per quality-adjusted life-year of between 38,393 pounds sterling and 6288 pounds sterling depending on the type of programme delivery and setting. Parent training/education programmes appear to be an effective and potentially cost-effective therapy for children with CD. However, the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models (such as therapy intensity and setting) require further investigation. Further research is required on the impact of parent training/education programmes on the quality of life of children with CD and their parents/carers, as well as on longer term child outcomes.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 01/2006; 9(50):iii, ix-x, 1-233. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the most cost-effective method of screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in the population aged 65 years and over, as well as its prevalence and incidence in this age group. Also to evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of different methods of recording and interpreting the electrocardiogram (ECG) within a screening programme. Multicentred randomised controlled trial. Purposefully selected general practices were randomly allocated to 25 intervention practices and 25 control practices. Fifty primary care centres across the West Midlands, UK. Patients aged 65 years and over. GPs and practice nurses in the intervention practices received education on the importance of AF detection and ECG interpretation. Patients in the intervention practices were randomly allocated to systematic (n = 5000) or opportunistic screening (n = 5000). Prospective identification of pre-existing risk factors for AF within the screened population enabled comparison between targeted screening of people at higher risk of AF and total population screening. AF detection rates in systematically screened and opportunistically screened populations in the intervention practices were compared with AF detection rate in 5000 patients in the control practices. The screening period was 12 months. Baseline prevalence of AF was 7.2%, with a higher prevalence in males (7.8%) and patients aged 75 years and over (10.3%). The control population demonstrated higher baseline prevalence (7.9%) than either the systematic (6.9%) or opportunistic (6.9%) intervention population. In the control population 47 new cases were detected (incidence 1.04% per year). In the opportunistic arm 243 patients without a baseline diagnosis of AF were found to have an irregular pulse, with 177 having an ECG, yielding 31 new cases (incidence 0.69% per year). A further 44 cases were detected outside the screening programme (overall incidence 1.64% per year). In the systematic arm 2357 patients had an ECG yielding 52 new cases (incidence 1.1% per year). Of these, 31 were detected by targeted screening and a further 21 by total population screening. A further 22 cases were detected outside the screening programme (overall incidence 1.62% per year). In terms of ECG interpretation, computerised decision support software (CDSS) gave a sensitivity of 87.3%, a specificity of 99.1% and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 89.5% compared with the gold standard (cardiologist reporting). GPs and practice nurses performed less well. The only difference in performance between intervention populations and controls was that practice nurses from the control arm performed less well than with intervention practice nurses on interpretation of limb-lead (PPV 38.8% versus 20.8%) and single-lead (PPV 37.7% versus 24.0%) ECGs. The within-trial economic evaluation results showed the lowest incremental cost to be for the opportunistic arm, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 337 pounds Sterling for each additional case detected compared to the control arm. Opportunistic screening dominated both more intensive screening strategies. Model-based analyses showed small differences in cost and quality-adjusted life-years for different methods and intensities of screening, but annual opportunistic screening resulted in the lowest number of ischaemic strokes and greatest proportion of cases of AF diagnosed. Probabilistic sensitivity results indicated that there was a probability of approximately 60% that screening from the age of 65 years was cost-effective in both men and women. The results of the study indicated that in terms of a screening programme for atrial fibrillation in patients 65 and over, the only strategy that improved on routine practice was opportunistic screening, model-based analyses indicated that there was a probability of approximately 60% of annual opportunistic screening being cost effective. It is suggested that the following topics are worthy of further investigation: the effect of the implementation of a screening programme for AF on the uptake and maintenance of anticoagulation in patients aged 65 years and over; an evaluation of the role of CDSS in the diagnosis of cardiac arrythmias; the best method for routinely detecting paroxysmal AF; ways of improving healthcare professionals' performance in ECG interpretation; development of a robust economic model to incorporate data on new therapeutic agents for use as thromboprophylactic agents for patients with AF, and an evaluation of the relative risk of stroke for patients with incident as opposed to prevalent AF.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 11/2005; 9(40):iii-iv, ix-x, 1-74. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of imatinib in the treatment of unresectable and/or metastatic, KIT-positive, gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), relative to current standard treatments. Electronic databases. As there were no randomised trials that have directly compared imatinib with the current standard treatment in patients with advanced GIST, this review included non-randomised controlled studies, cohort studies, and case series that reported effectiveness results of treatment with imatinib and/or other interventions in patients with advanced GIST. The effectiveness assessment was based on the comparison of results from imatinib trials and results from studies of historical control patients. Economic evaluation was mainly based on an assessment and modification (when judged necessary) of a model submitted by Novartis. Evidence from published uncontrolled trials involving 187 patients, and from abstracts reporting similar uncontrolled trials involving 1700 patients, indicates that approximately 50% of imatinib-treated individuals with advanced GIST experience a dramatic clinical response in terms of at least a 50% reduction in tumour mass. At present, although useful data are accumulating, it is not possible to predict which patients may respond in this way. Fifteen studies where possible GIST patients had been treated with therapies other than imatinib or best supportive care were also identified. All imatinib-treated patients experienced adverse effects, although they were relatively mild. Overall, imatinib was reported to be well tolerated. The most common serious events included unspecified haemorrhage and neutropenia. Skin rash, oedema and periorbital oedema were the common adverse events observed. Patients on the highest dose regimen (1000 mg per day in one trial) may experience dose-limiting drug toxicity. A structured assessment was carried out of the Novartis economic evaluation of imatinib for unresectable and/or metastatic GIST. The model was clearly presented and well written, its structure and input data were transparent, and the level of simplification was reasonable in terms of the objectives and data availability. However, the original Novartis model overestimated the cost-effectiveness of imatinib because of disproportion of survival and time-to-treatment failure in the imatinib arm, and the use of a possibly biased survival curve for patients in the control arm. The original Novartis model was modified to correct these two important shortcomings, which made it less sensitive to the choice of the survival curve for the control patients. According to the modified Novartis model, the estimated cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was 85,224 UK pounds (range 51,515--98,889 UK pounds) after 2 years, 41,219 UK pounds (27,331--44,236 UK pounds) after 5 years and 29,789 UK pounds (21,404--33,976 UK pounds) after 10 years. The results from a new Birmingham model were also within the range of estimates from the modified Novartis model. Evidence from uncontrolled studies indicates that the treatment with imatinib brings about clinically significant shrinkage of tumour mass in about half of patients with unresectable and/or metastatic, KIT-positive GIST. Results of modelling based on data from uncontrolled studies suggest that imatinib treatment improves survival in patients with unresectable and/or metastatic GIST. The economic evaluation modelling suggests that the cost per QALY gained ranges from 51,515 to 98,889 UK pounds after 2 years, from 27,331 to 44,236 UK pounds after 5 years, and from 21,404 to 33,976 UK pounds after 10 years. Further research is needed into quality of life within trials involving patients with advanced malignancy, and long-term follow-up of adverse events is needed. Subgroup analysis of which, if any, patient types have a better or worse response to imatinib is also required. Analysis of individual patient data may be a good way of exploring these issues. There are many uncertainties surrounding imatinib prescription, such as the length of time patients should be on imatinib, the dose, drug resistance and the optimum time-point in the disease course at which to give the drug. Secondary research such as an update of this systematic review and a reassessment of the model is highly recommended when ongoing trials reach completion.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 08/2005; 9(25):1-142. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • J Raftery, P Roderick, A Stevens
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    ABSTRACT: To develop criteria for classifying databases in relation to their potential use in health technology (HT) assessment and to apply them to a list of databases of relevance in the UK. To explore the extent to which prioritized databases could pick up those HTs being assessed by the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA) and the extent to which these databases have been used in HT assessment. To explore the validation of the databases and their cost. Electronic databases. Key literature sources. Experienced users of routine databases. A 'first principles' examination of the data necessary for each type of HT assessment was carried out, supplemented by literature searches and a historical review. The principal investigators applied the criteria to the databases. Comments of the 'keepers' of the prioritized databases were incorporated. Details of 161 topics funded by the NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme were reviewed iteratively by the principal investigators. Uses of databases in HTAs were identified by literature searches, which included the title of each prioritized database as a keyword. Annual reports of databases were examined and 'keepers' queried. The validity of each database was assessed using criteria based on a literature search and involvement by the authors in a national academic network. The costs of databases were established from annual reports, enquiries to 'keepers' of databases and 'guesstimates' based on cost per record. For assessing effectiveness, equity and diffusion, routine databases were classified into three broad groups: (1) group I databases, identifying both HTs and health states, (2) group II databases, identifying the HTs, but not a health state, and (3) group III databases, identifying health states, but not an HT. Group I datasets were disaggregated into clinical registries, clinical administrative databases and population-oriented databases. Group III were disaggregated into adverse event reporting, confidential enquiries, disease-only registers and health surveys. Databases in group I can be used not only to assess effectiveness but also to assess diffusion and equity. Databases in group II can only assess diffusion. Group III has restricted scope for assessing HTs, except for analysis of adverse events. For use in costing, databases need to include unit costs or prices. Some databases included unit cost as well as a specific HT. A list of around 270 databases was identified at the level of UK, England and Wales or England (over 1000 including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Allocation of these to the above groups identified around 60 databases with some potential for HT assessment, roughly half to group I. Eighteen clinical registers were identified as having the greatest potential although the clinical administrative datasets had potential mainly owing to their inclusion of a wide range of technologies. Only two databases were identified that could directly be used in costing. The review of the potential capture of HTs prioritized by the UK's NHS R&D HTA programme showed that only 10% would be captured in these databases, mainly drugs prescribed in primary care. The review of the use of routine databases in any form of HT assessment indicated that clinical registers were mainly used for national comparative audit. Some databases have only been used in annual reports, usually time trend analysis. A few peer-reviewed papers used a clinical register to assess the effectiveness of a technology. Accessibility is suggested as a barrier to using most databases. Clinical administrative databases (group Ib) have mainly been used to build population needs indices and performance indicators. A review of the validity of used databases showed that although internal consistency checks were common, relatively few had any form of external audit. Some comparative audit databases have data scrutinised by participating units. Issues around coverage and coding have, in general, received little attention. NHS funding of databases has been mainly for 'Central Returns' for management purposes, which excludes those databases with the greatest potential for HT assessment. Funding for databases was various, but some are unfunded, relying on goodwill. The estimated total cost of databases in group I plus selected databases from groups II and III has been estimated at pound 50 million or around 0.1% of annual NHS spend. A few databases with limited potential for HT assessment account for the bulk of spending. Suggestions for policy include clarification of responsibility for the strategic development of databases, improved resourcing, and issues around coding, confidentiality, ownership and access, maintenance of clinical support, optimal use of information technology, filling gaps and remedying deficiencies. Recommendations for researchers include closer policy links between routine data and R&D, and selective investment in the more promising databases. Recommended research topics include optimal capture and coding of the range of HTs, international comparisons of the role, funding and use of routine data in healthcare systems and use of routine database in trials and in modelling. Independent evaluations are recommended for information strategies (such as those around the National Service Frameworks and various collaborations) and for electronic patient and health records.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 05/2005; 9(20):1-92, iii-iv. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the newer immunosuppressive drugs for renal transplantation: basiliximab, daclizumab, tacrolimus, mycophenolate (mofetil and sodium) and sirolimus. Electronic databases. Industry submissions. Current Clinical Trials register. Cochrane Collaboration Renal Disease Group. The review followed the InterTASC standards. Each of the five company submissions to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) contained cost-effectiveness models, which were evaluated by using a critique covering (1) model checking, (2) a detailed model description and (3) model rerunning. For induction therapy, three randomised controlled trials (RCTs) found that daclizumab significantly reduced the incidence of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection and patient survival at 6 months/1 year compared with placebo, but not compared with the monoclonal antibody OKT3. There was no significant gain in patient survival or graft loss at 3 years. The incidence of side-effects with daclizumab reduced compared to OKT3. Eight RCTs found that basiliximab significantly improved 6-month/1-year biopsy-confirmed acute rejection compared to placebo, but not compared to either ATG or OKT3. There was no significant gain in either 1-year patient survival or graft loss. The incidence of side-effects with basiliximab was not significantly different compared to OKT3/ATG. For initial/maintenance therapy, 13 RCTs found that tacrolimus reduced the 6-month/1-year incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection compared to ciclosporin. There was no significant improvement in either 1-year or long-term (up to 5 years) graft loss or patient survival. The acute rejection benefit of tacrolimus over ciclosporin appeared to be equivalent for Sandimmun and Neoral. There were important differences in the side-effect profile of tacrolimus and ciclosporin. Seven RCTs found that mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) reduced the incidence of acute rejection. There was no significant difference in patient survival or graft loss at 1-year or 3-year follow-up. There appeared to be differences in the side-effect profiles of MMF and azathioprine (AZA). No RCTs comparing MMF with AZA were identified. One RCT compared mycophenolate sodium (MPS) to MMF and reported no difference between the two drugs in 1-year acute rejection rate, graft survival, patient survival or side-effect profile. Two RCTs suggest that addition of sirolimus to a ciclosporin-based initial/maintenance therapy reduces 1-year acute rejections in comparison to a ciclosporin (Neoral) dual therapy alone and substituting azathioprine with sirolimus in initial/maintenance therapy reduces the incidence of acute rejection. Graft and patient survival were not significantly different with either sirolimus regimen. Adding sirolimus increases the incidence of side-effects. The side-effect profiles of azathioprine and sirolimus appear to be different. For the treatment of acute rejection, three RCTs suggested that both tacrolimus and MMF reduce the incidence of subsequent acute rejection and the need for additional drug therapy. Only one RCT and one subgroup analysis in children (<18 years) were identified comparing ciclosporin to tacrolimus and sirolimus, respectively. The newer immunosuppressant drugs (basiliximab, daclizumab, tacrolimus and MMF) consistently reduced the incidence of short-term (1-year) acute rejection compared with conventional immunosuppressive therapy. The independent use of basiliximab, daclizumab, tacrolimus and MMF was associated with a similar absolute reduction in 1-year acute rejection rate (approximately 15%). However, the effects of these drugs did not appear to be additive (e.g. benefit of tacrolimus with adjuvant MMF was 5% reduction in acute rejection rate compared with 15% reduction with adjuvant AZA). Thus, the addition of one of these drugs to a baseline immunosuppressant regimen was likely to affect adversely the incremental cost-effectiveness of the addition of another. The trials did not assess how the improvement in short-term outcomes (e.g. acute rejection rate or measures of graft function), together with the side-effect profile associated with each drug, translated into changes in patient-related quality of life. Moreover, given the relatively short duration of trials, the impact of the newer immunosuppressants on long-term graft loss and patient survival remains uncertain. The absence of both long-term outcome and quality of life from trial data makes assessment of the clinical and cost-effectiveness on the newer immunosuppressants contingent on modelling based on extrapolations from short-term trial outcomes. The choice of the most appropriate short-term outcome (e.g. acute rejection rate or measures of graft function) for such modelling remains a matter of clinical and scientific debate. The decision to use acute rejection in the meta-model in this report was based on the findings of a systematic review of the literature of predictors of long-term graft outcome. Only a very small proportion of the RCTs identified in this review assessed patient-focused outcomes such as quality of life. Since immunosuppressive drugs have both clinical benefits and specific side-effects, the balance of these harms and benefits could best be quantified through future trials using quality of life measures. The design of future trials should be considered with a view to the impact of drugs on particular renal transplant groups, particularly higher risk individuals and children. Finally, there is a need for improved reporting of methodological details of future trials, such as the method of randomisation and allocation concealment. A number of issues exist around registry data, for example the use of multiple drug regimens and the need to assess the long-term outcomes. An option is the use of observational registry data including, if possible, prospective data on all consecutive UK renal transplant patients. Data capture for each patient should include immunosuppressant regimens, clinical and patient-related outcomes and patient demographics.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 05/2005; 9(21):1-179, iii-iv. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dual chamber pacing or single chamber atrial pacing ('physiologic' pacing) is believed to have an advantage over single chamber ventricular pacing in that it resembles cardiac physiology more closely by maintaining atrioventricular (AV) synchrony and dominance of the sinus node, which in turn may reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality thus contributing to patient survival and quality of life. However, a significant proportion of pacemakers currently implanted are single chamber ventricular pacemakers. The objective of this review was to assess the short- and long-term clinical effectiveness of dual chamber pacemakers compared to single chamber ventricular pacemakers in adults with AV block, sick sinus syndrome or both. An additional objective was to assess separately any potential differences in effectiveness between dual chamber pacing and single chamber atrial pacing. The clinical effectiveness of single chamber atrial pacing versus single chamber ventricular pacing was not examined. The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2002), MEDLINE (1966 to 2002), EMBASE (1980 to 2002) and the Science Citation Index (1980 to 2002) were searched on 19th August 2002. Citation lists and web sites were checked and researchers in the field contacted. Parallel group or crossover randomised controlled trials of at least 48 hours duration comparing dual chamber pacing and single chamber ventricular pacing, and investigating cardiovascular morbidity, mortality, patient related quality of life, exercise capacity and complication rates. Data was extracted onto pre-piloted data extraction forms. Quality assessment was undertaken using a checklist, with a sub-sample of quality data independently extracted by a second reviewer. Where appropriate data was available, meta-analysis was performed. Where meta-analysis was not possible, the number of studies showing a positive, neutral or negative direction of effect and statistical significance were simply counted. Five parallel and 26 crossover randomised controlled trials were identified. The quality of reporting was found to be poor. Pooled data from parallel studies shows a statistically non-significant preference for physiologic pacing (primarily dual chamber pacing) for the prevention of stroke, heart failure and mortality, and a statistically significant beneficial effect regarding the prevention of atrial fibrillation (odds ratio (OR) 0.79, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.93). Both parallel and crossover studies favour dual chamber pacing with regard to pacemaker syndrome (parallel: Peto OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.14; crossover: standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.74, 95% CI - 0.95 to -0.52). Pooled data from crossover studies shows a statistically significant trend towards dual chamber pacing being more favourable in terms of exercise capacity (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.03 to -0.45). No individual studies reported a significantly more favourable outcome with single chamber ventricular pacing. This review shows a trend towards greater effectiveness with dual chamber pacing compared to single chamber ventricular pacing, which supports the current British Pacing and Electrophysiology Group's Guidelines regarding atrioventricular block. Additional randomised controlled trial evidence from ongoing trials in this area will further inform the debate.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2004; · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 02/2003; 7(6):1-86. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 02/2003; 7(3):1-67. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of population screening for Helicobacter pylori in preventing gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease in England and Wales. A discrete event simulation model used parameter estimates, derived from peer-reviewed literature, routine data and statistical modelling. Population screening was compared with no screening but with opportunistic eradication in patients presenting with dyspepsia. Costs included screening, eradication and costs averted to provide costs per life years saved (cost/LYS) for preventing gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken. The cost/LYS from screening at age 40 years was Uk pounds 5860 at discount rates of 6%. The outcomes were sensitive to H. pylori prevalence, the degree of opportunistic eradication, the discount rate, the efficacy of eradication on gastric cancer risk, the risk of complicated peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer associated with H. pylori infection, and the duration of follow-up. In sensitivity analyses, the cost/LYS rarely exceeded UK pounds 20000 over an 80-year follow-up, but did for shorter periods. H. pylori screening may be cost-effective in the long term. However, before screening can be recommended further evidence is needed to resolve some of the uncertainties, particularly over the efficacy of eradication on risk of gastric cancer, the risk associated with complicated peptic ulcers, and the effect of more widespread opportunistic testing of patients with dyspepsia.
    Journal of Medical Screening 02/2003; 10(3):148-56. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion SR for smoking cessation, the authors reviewed published studies and developed a decision analytic model from the UK National Health Services perspective. Irrespective of the methods or assumptions involved, the results of published studies consistently indicated that NRT for smoking cessation is cost-effective. No published studies have evaluated the relative cost-effectiveness of bupropion SR for smoking cessation. The results of the decision analyses indicated that, as compared with advice or counseling alone, the incremental cost per life-years saved is about $1,441-$3,455 for NRT, $920-$2,150 for bupropion SR, and $1,282-$2,836 for NRT plus bupropion SR. The cost-effectiveness of adding NRT and bupropion SR to advice or counseling for smoking cessation is better than many other accepted health care interventions.
    Medical Decision Making 01/2002; 22(5 Suppl):S26-37. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the effectiveness and costs of a new domiciliary rehabilitation service for elderly stroke patients with geriatric day-hospital care. Randomized controlled trial. Stroke patients aged 55+ who required further rehabilitation after hospital discharge or after referral to geriatricians from the community. Poole area, East Dorset, a mixed urban/rural area on the south coast of England. Primary-changes between hospital discharge and 6-month follow-up in physical function as measured by Barthel index. Secondary-changes over this period in Rivermead Mobility Index and mental state (Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Morale Scale) and differences in social activity (Frenchay Activities Index) and generic health status (SF-36). Health service and social service cost per patient were compared for the two groups. 180 patients were eligible and 140 (78%) were randomized. The groups were well balanced for age, sex, social class and initial Barthel index. We achieved follow-up in 88% of subjects who were alive at 6 months. We detected no significant differences in patient outcomes, although there was a non-significant improvement in measures of physical function and social activity in the domiciliary group. Domiciliary patients had more physiotherapy time per session and more district nurse time, and made greater use of social service day centres and home helps. Total cost per patient did not differ significantly between the two groups, with reduced health service costs in the domiciliary arm offset by higher social service costs. No significant differences were detected in the effectiveness of the two services. Neither service influenced patients' mental state, and their social activity remained low. Total costs were similar. A mixed model of day-hospital and domiciliary care may be most cost-effective for community stroke rehabilitation, but this requires further evaluation.
    Age and Ageing 08/2001; 30(4):303-10. · 3.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

762 Citations
85.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2008
    • University of Southampton
      • Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development
      Southampton, ENG, United Kingdom
    • University of Birmingham
      • • Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
      • • Health Services Management Centre (HSMC)
      Birmingham, ENG, United Kingdom