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Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2010 Apr;26(2):133-40. doi: 10.1017/S0266462310000115.

Economic evaluation of enhanced staff contact for the promotion of breastfeeding for low birth weight infants.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom. sjcr1@york.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

There is evidence that breastmilk feeding reduces mortality and short and long-term morbidity among infants born too soon or too small. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of enhanced staff contact for mothers with infants in a neonatal unit with a birth weight of 500-2,500 g from the perspective of the UK National Health Service.

METHODS:

A decision-tree model linked clinical outcomes with long-term health outcomes. The study population was divided into three weight bands: 500-999 g, 1000-1,749 g, and 1,750-2,500 g. Clinical and resource use data were obtained from literature reviews. The measure of benefit was quality-adjusted life-years. Uncertainty was evaluated using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves and sensitivity analyses.

RESULTS:

The intervention was less costly and more effective than the comparator in the base-case analysis for each birth weight group. The results were quite robust to the sensitivity analyses performed.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first economic evaluation in this complex field and offers a model to be developed in future research. The results provide preliminary indications that enhanced staff contact may be cost-effective. However, the limited evidence available, and the limited UK data in particular, suggest that further research is required to provide results with confidence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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