OBJECTIVES: HIV/AIDS surveillance methods are under revision as the diversity of HIV epidemics is becoming more apparent. The so called "2nd generation surveillance (SGS) systems" aim to enhance surveillance by broadening the range of indicators to prevalence, behaviors and correlates, for a better understanding and a more complete and timely awareness of evolving epidemics. METHODS: Concepts of HIV SGS are reviewed with a special focus on injecting drug users, a major at-risk and hard to reach group in Europe, a region with mainly low or concentrated epidemics. RESULTS: The scope of HIV/AIDS surveillance needs to be broadened following principles of SGS. Specifically for IDUs we propose including hepatitis C data as indicator for injecting risk in routine systems like those monitoring sexually transmitted infections and information on knowledge and attitudes as potential major determinants of risk behavior. CONCLUSIONS: The suggested approach should lead to more complete and timely information for public health interventions, however there is a clear need for comparative validation studies to assess the validity, reliability and cost-effectiveness of traditional and enhanced HIV/AIDS surveillance systems.
OBJECTIVE: The overall aims of the ADDITION study are to evaluate whether screening for prevalent undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes is feasible, and whether subsequent optimised intensive treatment of diabetes, and associated risk factors, is feasible and beneficial. DESIGN: Population-based screening in three European countries followed by an open, randomised controlled trial. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: People aged 40-69 y in the community, without known diabetes, will be offered a random capillary blood glucose screening test by their primary care physicians, followed, if equal to or greater than 5.5 mmol/l, by fasting and 2-h post-glucose-challenge blood glucose measurements. Three thousand newly diagnosed patients will subsequently receive conventional treatment (according to current national guidelines) or intensive multifactorial treatment (lifestyle advice, prescription of aspirin and ACE-inhibitors, in addition to protocol-driven tight control of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol). Patients allocated to intensive treatment will be further randomised to centre-specific interventions to motivate adherence to lifestyle changes and medication. Duration of follow-up is planned for 5 y. Endpoints will include mortality, macrovascular and microvascular complications, patient health status and satisfaction, process-of-care indicators and costs.
Web-based surveys may have advantages related to the speed and cost of data collection as well as data quality. However, they may be biased by low and selective participation. We predicted that such biases would distort point-estimates such as average symptom level or prevalence but not patterns of associations with putative risk-factors.
A structured psychiatric interview was administered to parents in two successive surveys of child mental health. In 2003, parents were interviewed face-to-face, whereas in 2006 they completed the interview online. In both surveys, interviews were preceded by paper questionnaires covering child and family characteristics.
The rate of parents logging onto the web site was comparable to the response rate for face-to-face interviews, but the rate of full response (completing all sections of the interview) was much lower for web-based interviews. Full response was less frequent for non-traditional families, immigrant parents, and less educated parents. Participation bias affected point estimates of psychopathology but had little effect on associations with putative risk factors. The time and cost of full web-based interviews was only a quarter of that for face-to-face interviews.
Web-based surveys may be performed faster and at lower cost than more traditional approaches with personal interviews. Selective participation seems a particular threat to point estimates of psychopathology, while patterns of associations are more robust.
Monthly dosing with ranibizumab (RBZ) is needed to achieve maximal visual gains in patients with neovascular ('wet') age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). In Sweden, dosing is performed as needed (RBZ PRN), resulting in suboptimal efficacy. Intravitreal aflibercept (IVT-AFL) every 2 months after three initial monthly doses was clinically equivalent to RBZ monthly dosing (RBZ q4) in wAMD clinical trials. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of IVT-AFL versus RBZ q4 and RBZ PRN in Sweden.
A Markov model compared IVT-AFL to RBZ q4 or RBZ PRN over 2 years. Health states were based on visual acuity in better-seeing eye; a proportion discontinued treatment monthly or upon visual acuity
OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost effectiveness of screening men aged 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysm. DESIGN: Cost effectiveness analysis based on a probabilistic, enhanced economic decision analytical model from screening to death. POPULATION AND SETTING: Hypothetical population of men aged 65 invited (or not invited) for ultrasound screening in the Danish healthcare system. DATA SOURCES: Published results from randomised trials and observational epidemiological studies retrieved from electronic bibliographic databases, and supplementary data obtained from the Danish Vascular Registry. DATA SYNTHESIS: A hybrid decision tree and Markov model was developed to simulate the short term and long term effects of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm compared with no systematic screening on clinical and cost effectiveness outcomes. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses using Monte Carlo simulation were carried out. Results were presented in a cost effectiveness acceptability curve, an expected value of perfect information curve, and a curve showing the expected (net) number of avoided deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysm over time after the introduction of screening. The model was validated by calibrating base case health outcomes and expected activity levels against evidence from the recent Cochrane review of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. RESULTS: The estimated costs per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained discounted at 3% per year over a lifetime for costs and QALYs was pound43 485 (euro54,852; $71,160). At a willingness to pay threshold of pound30,000 the probability of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm being cost effective was less than 30%. One way sensitivity analyses showed the incremental cost effectiveness ratio varying from pound32,640 to pound66,001 per QALY. CONCLUSION: Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm does not seem to be cost effective. Further research is needed on long term quality of life outcomes and costs.
INTRODUCTION: Strontium ranelate is a new therapy for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis that has been shown in two phase III clinical trials (the Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention [SOTI] and the Treatment Of Peripheral OSteoporosis Study [TROPOS] trials) to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures at the vertebral, non-vertebral and hip level in postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential cost-effectiveness of strontium ranelate in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal Swedish patients. METHODS: A Markov cohort model was adapted to fit patients corresponding to the patients in the SOTI and TROPOS clinical trials. The model was populated with Swedish cost and epidemiological data. In the base case, the cost-effectiveness was estimated for 69-year old women with low bone mineral density (BMD) and prevalent vertebral fractures (SOTI) and for 77-year old women with low BMD (TROPOS). The cost-effectiveness analysis had a societal perspective. RESULTS: In the base case analysis, the cost per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained of strontium ranelate patients compared to no treatment patients was estimated at SEK 472,586 and SEK 259,643, including costs in added life years, based on the SOTI and the TROPOS trials, respectively. Excluding cost in added life years, the cost per QALY gained was estimated at SEK 336,420 (SOTI) and SEK 165,680 (TROPOS). In subgroup analyses, in patients 74 years and older with a T-score lower than -2.4 and patients older than 80 years of age, strontium ranelate was found to be cost saving compared to no treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The results in the base case analyses and the sensitivity analyses of this study indicate that, compared to no treatment, strontium ranelate is cost-effective in the treatment of postmenopausal women with low BMD.
The use of Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS) for knee replacements is intended to improve the alignment of knee prostheses in order to reduce the number of revision operations. Is the cost effectiveness of computer assisted surgery influenced by patient volume and age?
By employing a Markov model, we analysed the cost effectiveness of computer assisted surgery versus conventional arthroplasty with respect to implant survival and operation volume in two theoretical Norwegian age cohorts. We obtained mortality and hospital cost data over a 20-year period from Norwegian registers. We presumed that the cost of an intervention would need to be below NOK 500,000 per QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) gained, to be considered cost effective.
The added cost of computer assisted surgery, provided this has no impact on implant survival, is NOK 1037 and NOK 1414 respectively for 60 and 75-year-olds per quality-adjusted life year at a volume of 25 prostheses per year, and NOK 128 and NOK 175 respectively at a volume of 250 prostheses per year. Sensitivity analyses showed that the 10-year implant survival in cohort 1 needs to rise from 89.8% to 90.6% at 25 prostheses per year, and from 89.8 to 89.9% at 250 prostheses per year for computer assisted surgery to be considered cost effective. In cohort 2, the required improvement is a rise from 95.1% to 95.4% at 25 prostheses per year, and from 95.10% to 95.14% at 250 prostheses per year.
The cost of using computer navigation for total knee replacements may be acceptable for 60-year-old as well as 75-year-old patients if the technique increases the implant survival rate just marginally, and the department has a high operation volume. A low volume department might not achieve cost-effectiveness unless computer navigation has a more significant impact on implant survival, thus may defer the investments until such data are available.
The Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) is an ongoing population health survey conducted by a collaborating group of Ontario public health units. This formative evaluation examined the process effectiveness, collaboration, utility and cost-effectiveness of RRFSS during its first year of operation.
An Evaluation Framework was developed with reference to guidelines for evaluation of surveillance systems developed by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study focussed on evaluable performance areas in a young surveillance system and on information needed to inform stakeholder decisions about future participation and improvement. Data were collected through surveys and interviews of key informants in participating health units, non-participating health units, the survey research house, and the provincial health ministry.
Findings documented early use and dissemination of RRFSS data in health units after less than a year of surveillance system operation, stakeholder perceptions overall of data impact and value, and satisfaction with system functioning. Challenges to effectiveness were documented concerning data analysis, barriers to data use, and sustainability. Performance improvement strategies were identified for survey implementation and supports, data use, system participation, and reduced costs.
In its first year, RRFSS was an effective collaborative method to collect population data for public health program planning and evaluation. The evaluation provided valuable information on use, functioning, effectiveness, strategic issues and areas for improvement in a young surveillance system, created opportunities for stakeholder input into evaluation and planning, and provided a baseline for future evaluations.
National Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Institute of Cell and Molecular Sciences, Queen Mary College, Barts and the London School of Medicine, University of London, London, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
To analyse the feasibility, cost and performance of rapid tuberculosis (TB) molecular and culture systems, in a high multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) middle-income region (Samara, Russia) and provide evidence for WHO policy change.
Performance and cost evaluation was conducted to compare the BACTEC MGIT 960 system for culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) and molecular systems for TB diagnosis, resistance to isoniazid and rifampin, and MDR TB identification compared to conventional Lowenstein-Jensen culture assays.
698 consecutive patients (2487 sputum samples) with risk factors for drug-resistant tuberculosis were recruited. Overall M. tuberculosis complex culture positivity rates were 31.6% (787/2487) in MGIT and 27.1% (675/2487) in LJ (90.5% and 83.2% for smear-positive specimens). In total, 809 cultures of M. tuberculosis complex were isolated by any method. Median time to detection was 14 days for MGIT and 36 days for LJ (10 and 33 days for smear positive specimens) and indirect DST in MGIT took 9 days compared to 21 days on LJ. There was good concordance between DST on LJ and MGIT (96.8% for rifampin and 95.6% for isoniazid). Both molecular hybridization assay results correlated well with MGIT DST results, although molecular assays generally yielded higher rates of resistance (by approximately 3% for both isoniazid and rifampin).
With effective planning and logistics, the MGIT 960 and molecular based methodologies can be successfully introduced into a reference laboratory setting in a middle incidence country. High rates of MDR TB in the Russian Federation make the introduction of such assays particularly useful.