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J Neurosurg. 2002 Jun;96(6):1052-7.

Functional benefits and cost/benefit analysis of continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion for the management of severe spasticity.

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  • 1School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. f.c.sampson@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECT:

Intrathecally delivered baclofen has been used as a treatment for severe spasticity since 1984. Despite this, there are uncertainties surrounding the benefits of treatment and the costs involved. The authors assessed the evidence of benefits and identified costs and the cost/benefit ratio for continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion in the treatment of severe spasticity.

METHODS:

A systematic literature review was conducted to estimate the effect of continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion on function and quality-of-life (QOL) measures in patients with severe spasticity. Outcomes were related to standard QOL scores to estimate potential gains in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Information on the costs of continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion was obtained from hospitals in the United Kingdom. This information was combined to estimate the cost/benefit ratio for the use of continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion in patients with different levels of disability from severe spasticity. Studies indicate that bedbound patients are likely to improve their mobility and become able to sit out of bed. Patients with severe spasm-related pain are likely to have major improvement or complete resolution of this pain. Many other benefits are also reported. Such benefits are related to costs per QALY in the range of 6,900 pounds to 12,800 pounds ($10,550-$19,570 US).

CONCLUSIONS:

In carefully selected patients who have not responded to less invasive treatments, continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion is likely to lead to worthwhile functional benefits. Continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion has an acceptable cost/benefit ratio compared with other interventions that are funded by the health service.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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