The Canadian Pediatric Epilepsy Network is a network of scientists and health care professionals in partnership with organizations which provide education and support to children with epilepsy. The objective of the network is to gain a better understanding of childhood epilepsy through collaborative research conducted with doctors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, educators and scientists across Canada. The network was launched at a meeting in Ottawa in the spring of 2000 where several oral presentations addressed the issues of the fundamental questions of epilepsy, the economic impact and the neuropsychology of childhood epilepsy. The intent was to provoke discussion on future areas of research for the network.
To assess the relative cost-effectiveness of a high-intensity treatment (HIT) and a low-intensity treatment (LIT) for smoking cessation.
The societal and health care perspective economic evaluation was based on the reported number of quitters at 12-month follow-up (point prevalence) from a randomized controlled trial of 2 smoking cessation programs in Sweden. Future disease-related costs (in Swedish kronor [SEK] 2004; SEK7.35 = USD1) and health effects (in quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs]) were estimated via a Markov model comprising lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular disease including stroke with costs and QALYs discounted 3% annually.
HIT was more effective than LIT (23% vs. 16% quitters), but at a considerably higher intervention cost: SEK26,100 versus 9,100 per quitter. The model-estimated societal costs avoided did not balance the higher intervention costs, so the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) amounted to SEK100,000 per QALY for HIT versus LIT. All sensitivity analyses indicated an ICER below SEK300,000 and that HIT is the preferred option if the decision maker willingness-to-pay exceeds SEK50,000 per QALY. Compared with no intervention, LIT was cost saving, whereas HIT was estimated at SEK8,400 per QALY.
Compared with no smoking cessation program, it is a societal waste not to implement the LIT as it is estimated to result in lower societal costs. The incremental cost per QALY gained of SEK100,000 for HIT is considered very cost-effective in Sweden. Thus, if smoking cessation programs are judged in the same manner as other Swedish health care measures, the high-intensity program should be chosen before the low-cost program.
This study compared the cost efficiency of observation and inclinometer assessment of trunk and upper-arm inclination in a population of flight baggage handlers, as an illustration of a general procedure for addressing the trade-off between resource consumption and statistical performance in occupational epidemiology.
Trunk and upper-arm inclination with respect to the line of gravity were assessed for three days on each of 27 airport baggage handlers using simultaneous inclinometer and video recordings. Labor and equipment costs associated with data collection and processing were tracked throughout. Statistical performance was computed from the variance components within and between workers and bias (with inclinometer assumed to produce "correct" inclination angles). The behavior of the trade-off between cost and efficiency with changed sample size, as well as with changed logistics for data collection and processing, was investigated using simulations.
At similar total costs, time spent at trunk and arm inclination angles >60 ° as well as 90 (th)percentile arm inclination were estimated at higher precision using inclinometers, while median inclination and 90th percentile trunk inclination was determined more precisely using observation. This hierarchy remained when the study was reproduced in another population, while inclinometry was more cost-efficient than observation for all three posture variables in a scenario where data were already collected and only needed to be processed.
When statistical performance was measured only in terms of precision, inclinometers were more cost-efficient than observation for two out of three posture metrics investigated. Since observations were biased, inclinometers consistently outperformed observation when both bias and precision were included in statistical performance. This general model for assessing cost efficiency may be used for designing exposure assessment strategies with considerations not only of statistical but also cost criteria. The empirical data provide a specific basis for planning assessments of working postures in occupational groups.
About 5% of patients with chronic liver disease develop massive refractory ascites. These patients cease to respond to diuretic therapy and may develop prerenal azotemia. There is a small but definite role for the peritoneo-venous shunt in these patients. In our study of 36 patients, managed with locally made, single-valved peritoneo-venous shunts (GSAIMS shunts), shunt failure and complication rates were assessed postoperatively. There is a definite improvement in quality of life with this cost-effective locally made shunt if patients are selected carefully. Long-term follow-up of these patients is not possible because most of these patients succumb to advanced liver disease.