Böckmann, D., Szentes, B. L., Schultz, K., Nowak, D., Schuler, M., Schwarzkopf, L.Cost-effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with bronchial asthma: an analysis of the EPRA randomized controlled trial
Value in Health. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2021.01.017
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Objectives At 3 months after the intervention, this study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of a 3-week inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in patients with asthma compared with usual care alongside the single-center randomized controlled trial—Effectiveness of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients With Asthma.
Methods Adopting a societal perspective, direct medical costs and productivity loss were assessed using the Questionnaire for Health-Related Resource Use-Lung, a modification of the FIM in an Elderly Population. The effect side was operationalized as minimal important differences (MIDs) of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) and through quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. Adjusted mean differences in costs (gamma-distributed model) and each effect parameter (Gaussian-distributed model) were simultaneously calculated within 1000 bootstrap replications to determine incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and to subsequently delineate cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.
Results PR caused mean costs per capita of €3544. Three months after PR, we observed higher mean costs (Δ€3673; 95% confidence interval (CI) €2854-€4783) and improved mean effects (ACT Δ 1.59 MIDs, 95% CI 1.37-1.81; AQLQ Δ1.76 MIDs, 95% CI 1.46-2.08; QALYs gained Δ0.01, 95% CI 0.01-0.02) in the intervention group. The ICER was €2278 (95% CI €1653-€3181) per ACT-MID, €1983 (95% CI €1430-€2830) per AQLQ-MID, and €312 401 (95% CI €209 206-€504 562) per QALY gained.
Conclusions Contrasting of PR expenditures with ICERs suggests that the intervention, which achieves clinically relevant changes in asthma-relevant parameters, has a high probability to be already cost-effective in the short term. However, in terms of QALYs, extended follow-up periods are likely required to comprehensively judge the added value of a one-time initial investment in PR.