Cost-effectiveness of a nurse-led telemonitoring intervention based on peak expiratory flow measurements in asthmatics: Results of a randomised controlled trial

Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation (Impact Factor: 0.87). 02/2007; 5(1):10. DOI: 10.1186/1478-7547-5-10
Source: PubMed


Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which recurrent asthma symptoms create a substantial burden to individuals and their families. At the same time the economic burden associated with asthma is considerable.
The cost-effectiveness study was part of a single centre prospective randomised controlled trial comparing a nurse-led telemonitoring programme to usual care in a population of asthmatic outpatients. The study included 109 asthmatic outpatients (56 children; 53 adults). The duration of follow-up was 12 months, and measurements were performed at baseline, 4, 8, and 12 months. Patients were asked to transfer their monitor data at least twice daily and by judging the received data and following a stepwise intervention protocol a nurse was able to act as the main caregiver in the intervention group. In both groups the EQ-5D and the SF-6D were used to obtain estimates of health state utilities. One year health care costs, patient and family costs, and productivity losses were calculated. The mean incremental costs were weighted against the mean incremental effect in terms of QALY.
The study population generally represented mild to moderate asthmatics. No significant differences were found between the groups with regard to the generic quality of life. Overall, the mean health care costs per patient were higher in the intervention group than in the control group. The intervention costs mainly caused the cost difference between the groups. The intervention costs the society euro 31,035/QALY gained with regard to adults and with regard to children euro 59,071/QALY gained.
If the outcome is measured by generic quality of life the nurse-led telemonitoring programme is of limited cost-effectiveness in the study population. From the societal perspective the probability of the programme being cost-effective compared to regular care was 85% at a ceiling ratio of euro 80,000/QALY gained among the adults and 68% among the children. A decrease in the price of the asthma monitor will substantial increase the probability of the programme to be cost-effective.

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Available from: PubMed Central, Dec 16, 2014 · License: CC BY
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    • "This was not clearly stated but could be deducted in most cases. QALYs were calculated using the change from baseline score [27,29,31,43,44] or the area under the curve method [33,45,46]; in some cases the calculation was explicitly described [28,42]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) is a recognised outcome measure in health economic evaluations. QALY incorporates individual preferences and identifies health gains by combining mortality and morbidity into one single index number. A literature review was conducted to examine and discuss the use of QALYs to measure outcomes in telehealth evaluations. Methods Evaluations were identified via a literature search in all relevant databases. Only economic evaluations measuring both costs and QALYs using primary patient level data of two or more alternatives were included. Results A total of 17 economic evaluations estimating QALYs were identified. All evaluations used validated generic health related-quality of life (HRQoL) instruments to describe health states. They used accepted methods for transforming the quality scores into utility values. The methodology used varied between the evaluations. The evaluations used four different preference measures (EQ-5D, SF-6D, QWB and HUI3), and utility scores were elicited from the general population. Most studies reported the methodology used in calculating QALYs. The evaluations were less transparent in reporting utility weights at different time points and variability around utilities and QALYs. Few made adjustments for differences in baseline utilities. The QALYs gained in the reviewed evaluations varied from 0.001 to 0.118 in implying a small but positive effect of telehealth intervention on patient’s health. The evaluations reported mixed cost-effectiveness results. Conclusion The use of QALYs in telehealth evaluations has increased over the last few years. Different methodologies and utility measures have been used to calculate QALYs. A more harmonised methodology and utility measure is needed to ensure comparability across telehealth evaluations.
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    • "Test–retest reliability (2 weeks) was tested using children with different health conditions, including asthma, rheumatic disorders, diabetes, and speech/language and/or hearing disorders [26]. Expressed as interclass correlation coefficients, test-retest reliability of the Dutch EQ-5D child version varied for different domains from -0.25 to 1.0 [27]. Problems were found with discriminant power, because the EQ-5D (in contrast to TACQOL) was not able to distinguish between children with different disorders. "
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    ABSTRACT: EQ-5D is widely used in studies with adults as a source of generic health-related quality of life information and utility weights to inform resource allocation decisions. This methodological systematic review describes the extent to which EQ-5D has been used in the evaluation of children's health care, assesses psychometric properties, and makes recommendations for future good practice. Systematic searches of databases and the Internet to identify studies published during 2000-2010 that either used EQ-5D with children younger than age 19 years as an outcome measure or reported psychometric data. Study characteristics, including measures and psychometric data, were extracted into tables for analysis. We identified 29 studies that used four versions of the EQ-5D: adult EQ-5D, EQ-5D-Y, Dutch EQ-5D child, and extended with cognitive dimension, EQ-5D+C. Twelve of 29 studies did not specify the EQ-5D version used. Existing literature lacks detail on the specific use of EQ-5D and its potential effects on findings. Version use and psychometric properties were inadequately reported. There are large gaps in current knowledge of psychometric properties across all versions when used with children. For reasons of comparability with resource use across adult and children's services, there are arguments for continued use of EQ-5D in studies with children. We recommend use of EQ-5D alongside children-specific quality of life measures and disease-specific measures. Researchers are encouraged to undertake methodological and philosophical analyses to better understand and improve evidence as to how adults who make decisions about resource allocation can best take account of children in decision making.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Value in Health
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    • "Of the 25 studies that reported utility values in patients with asthma, 5 included children and adults [10,12-15], one study evaluated children alone [16], and the remaining 19 studies evaluated adults only [17-35] (Additional file 2, Table S2-Utilities derived for asthma). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cost-utility analyses are commonly used in economic evaluations of interventions or conditions that have an impact on health-related quality of life. However, evaluating utilities in children presents several challenges since young children may not have the cognitive ability to complete measurement tasks and thus utility values must be estimated by proxy assessors. Another solution is to use utilities derived from an adult population. To better inform the future conduct of cost-utility analyses in paediatric populations, we reviewed the published literature reporting utilities among children and adults across selected conditions common to paediatric and adult populations. An electronic search of Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library up to November 2008 was conducted to identify studies presenting utility values derived from the Health Utilities Index (HUI) or EuroQoL-5Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaires or using time trade off (TTO) or standard gamble (SG) techniques in children and/or adult populations from randomized controlled trials, comparative or non-comparative observational studies, or cross-sectional studies. The search was targeted to four chronic diseases/conditions common to both children and adults and known to have a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). After screening 951 citations identified from the literature search, 77 unique studies included in our review evaluated utilities in patients with asthma (n = 25), cancer (n = 23), diabetes mellitus (n = 11), skin diseases (n = 19) or chronic diseases (n = 2), with some studies evaluating multiple conditions. Utility values were estimated using HUI (n = 33), EQ-5D (n = 26), TTO (n = 12), and SG (n = 14), with some studies applying more than one technique to estimate utility values. 21% of studies evaluated utilities in children, of those the majority being in the area of oncology. No utility values for children were reported in skin diseases. Although few studies provided comparative information on utility values between children and adults, results seem to indicate that utilities may be similar in adolescents and young adults with asthma and acne. Differences in results were observed depending on methods and proxies. This review highlights the need to conduct future research regarding measurement of utilities in children.
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