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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Nov;94(2):123-33.

A cost-effectiveness analysis of two rehabilitation support services for women with breast cancer.

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Centre for Health Research School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


The purpose of this research was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of two rehabilitation interventions for breast cancer survivors, each compared to a population-based, non-intervention group (n = 208). The two services included an early home-based physiotherapy intervention (DAART, n = 36) and a group-based exercise and psychosocial intervention (STRETCH, n = 31). A societal perspective was taken and costs were included as those incurred by the health care system, the survivors and community. Health outcomes included: (a) 'rehabilitated cases' based on changes in health-related quality of life between 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis, using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer plus Arm Morbidity (FACT-B+4) questionnaire, and (b) quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) using utility scores from the Subjective Health Estimation (SHE) scale. Data were collected using self-reported questionnaires, medical records and program budgets. A Monte-Carlo modelling approach was used to test for uncertainty in cost and outcome estimates. The proportion of rehabilitated cases was similar across the three groups. From a societal perspective compared with the non-intervention group, the DAART intervention appeared to be the most efficient option with an incremental cost of $1344 per QALY gained, whereas the incremental cost per QALY gained from the STRETCH program was $14,478. Both DAART and STRETCH are low-cost, low-technological health promoting programs representing excellent public health investments.

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