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Eur Respir J. 2001 Feb;17(2):206-13.

Cost-effectiveness of self-management in asthmatics: a 1-yr follow-up randomized, controlled trial.

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  • 1Medical Dept, Vest-Agder Central Hospital, Kristiansand, Norway.


Patient education in asthma can improve outcome but cost-effectiveness has not been widely assessed. The aim of the present study was to carry out a cost-effectiveness analysis of patient education in asthmatics in a 12-month follow-up. The authors randomly allocated 78 asthmatics to a control or intervention group after they had received ordinary outpatient consultation care. Intervention consisted of two 2-h group sessions followed by 1-2 individual sessions administered by a nurse and a physiotherapist. Self-management was emphasized. Effectiveness was expressed in terms of quality of life and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). Doctor visits, days off work, dispensed pharmaceuticals, hospital admissions, travel costs, time costs and educational costs were recorded. The control and intervention groups induced mean total costs of Norwegian Krone (NOK) 16,000 and 10,500 per patient, respectively. A 10-unit improvement in St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score and a 5% improvement in FEV1 in the intervention group were associated with a saving of NOK 3,400 and 4,500, respectively, compared to the control group. The number needed to educate (NNE) to make one person symptom free was associated with a saving of NOK 12,200. The results were robust to realistic changes in the assumptions upon which they were based. It could be concluded from this study that patient education in asthmatics in a 12-month follow-up improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

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