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Cover of Comparing the cost-effectiveness and clinical effectiveness of a new community in-reach rehabilitation service with the cost-effectiveness and clinical effectiveness of an established hospital-based rehabilitation service for older people: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial with microcost and qualitative analysis – the Community In-reach Rehabilitation And Care Transition (CIRACT) study

Comparing the cost-effectiveness and clinical effectiveness of a new community in-reach rehabilitation service with the cost-effectiveness and clinical effectiveness of an established hospital-based rehabilitation service for older people: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial with microcost and qualitative analysis – the Community In-reach Rehabilitation And Care Transition (CIRACT) study

Health Services and Delivery Research, No. 4.7

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Author Information and Affiliations
Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; .

Headline

Study found that a Community In-reach Rehabilitation And Care Transition (CIRACT) service did not reduce hospital length of stay nor short-term readmission rates compared with traditional hospital-based rehabilitation services for patients aged ≥ 70 years admitted to hospital as a medical emergency, although it was highly regarded by those who were most involved with it.

Abstract

Background:

Older people represent a significant proportion of patients admitted to hospital as a medical emergency. Compared with the care of younger patients, their care is more challenging, their stay in hospital is much longer, their risk of hospital-acquired problems is much higher and their 28-day readmission rate is much greater.

Objective:

To compare the clinical effectiveness, microcosts and cost-effectiveness of a Community In-reach Rehabilitation And Care Transition (CIRACT) service with the traditional hospital-based rehabilitation (THB-Rehab) service in patients aged ≥ 70 years.

Methods:

A pragmatic randomised controlled trial with an integral health economic study and parallel qualitative appraisal was undertaken in a large UK teaching hospital, with community follow-up. Participants were individually randomised to the intervention (CIRACT service) or standard care (THB-Rehab service). The primary outcome was hospital length of stay; secondary outcomes were readmission within 28 and 91 days post discharge and super spell bed-days (total time in NHS care), functional ability, comorbidity and health-related quality of life, all measured at day 91, together with the microcosts and cost-effectiveness of the two services. A qualitative appraisal provided an explanatory understanding of the organisation, delivery and experience of the CIRACT service from the perspective of key stakeholders and patients.

Results:

In total, 250 participants were randomised (n = 125 CIRACT service, n = 125 THB-Rehab service). There was no significant difference in length of stay between the CIRACT service and the THB-Rehab service (median 8 vs. 9 days). There were no significant differences between the groups in any of the secondary outcomes. The cost of delivering the CIRACT service and the THB-Rehab service, as determined from the microcost analysis, was £302 and £303 per patient respectively. The overall mean costs (including NHS and personal social service costs) of the CIRACT and THB-Rehab services calculated from the Client Service Receipt Inventory were £3744 and £3603 respectively [mean cost difference £144, 95% confidence interval –£1645 to £1934] and the mean quality-adjusted life-years for the CIRACT service were 0.846 and for the THB-Rehab service were 0.806. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) from a NHS and Personal Social Services perspective was £2022 per quality-adjusted life-year. Although the CIRACT service was highly regarded by those who were most involved with it, the emergent configuration of the service working across organisational and occupational boundaries was not easily incorporated by the current established community services.

Conclusions:

The CIRACT service did not reduce hospital length of stay or short-term readmission rates compared with the standard THB-Rehab service, although it was highly regarded by those who were most involved with it. The estimated ICER appears cost-effective although it is subject to much uncertainty, as shown by points spanning all four quadrants of the cost-effectiveness plane. Microcosting work-sampling methodology provides a useful method to estimate the cost of service provision. Limitations in sample size, which may have excluded a smaller reduction in length of stay, and lack of blinding, which may have introduced some cross-contamination between the two groups, must be recognised. Reducing hospital length of stay and hospital readmissions remains a priority for the NHS. Further studies are necessary, which should be powered with larger sample sizes and use cluster randomisation (to reduce bias) but, more importantly, should include a more integrated community health-care model as part of the CIRACT team.

Trial registration:

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN94393315.

Funding:

The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme.

Contents

Article history

The research reported in this issue of the journal was funded by the HS&DR programme or one of its preceding programmes as project number 11/1023/10. The contractual start date was in February 2013. The final report began editorial review in May 2015 and was accepted for publication in November 2015. The authors have been wholly responsible for all data collection, analysis and interpretation, and for writing up their work. The HS&DR editors and production house have tried to ensure the accuracy of the authors’ report and would like to thank the reviewers for their constructive comments on the final report document. However, they do not accept liability for damages or losses arising from material published in this report.

Declared competing interests of authors

none

Copyright © Queen’s Printer and Controller of HMSO 2016. This work was produced by Sahota et al. under the terms of a commissioning contract issued by the Secretary of State for Health. This issue may be freely reproduced for the purposes of private research and study and extracts (or indeed, the full report) may be included in professional journals provided that suitable acknowledgement is made and the reproduction is not associated with any form of advertising. Applications for commercial reproduction should be addressed to: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK.

Included under terms of UK Non-commercial Government License.

Bookshelf ID: NBK344359PMID: 26937535DOI: 10.3310/hsdr04070

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