This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate change in health-related quality of life for people with constipation receiving abdominal massage and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of two alternative scenarios developed from the original trial.
Constipation is a common problem and is associated with decrease in quality of life. Abdominal massage appears to decrease the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, but its impact on health-related quality of life has not been assessed.
A randomized controlled trial including 60 participants was conducted in Sweden between 2005 and 2007. The control group continued using laxatives as before and the intervention group received additional abdominal massage. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the EQ-5D and analyzed with linear regression. Two scenarios were outlined to conduct a cost utility analysis. In the self-massage scenario patients learned to give self-massage, and in the professional massage scenario patients in hospital received abdominal massage from an Enrolled Nurse.
Linear regression analysis showed that health-related quality of life was statistically significantly increased after 8 weeks of abdominal massage. About 40% were estimated to receive good effect. For 'self-massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro75,000 for the first 16 weeks. For every additional week of abdominal massage, the average dropped and eventually approached euro8300. For 'professional massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro60,000 and eventually dropped to euro28,000.
Abdominal massage may be cost-effective in the long-term and it is relevant to consider it when managing constipation. A crucial aspect will be to identify those who will benefit.
Acidification of soils and surface waters caused by acid deposition is still a major problem in southern Scandinavia, despite clear signs of recovery. Besides emission control, liming of lakes, streams, and wetlands is currently used to ameliorate acidification in Sweden. An alternative strategy is forest soil liming to restore the acidified upland soils from which much acidified runoff originates. This cost-benefit analysis compared these liming strategies with a special emphasis on the time perspective for expected benefits. Benefits transfer was used to estimate use values for sport ffishing and nonuse values in terms of existence values. The results show that large-scale forest soil liming is not socioeconomically profitable, while lake liming is, if it is done efficiently-in other words, if only acidified surface waters are treated. The beguiling logic of "solving" an environmental problem at its source (soils), rather than continuing to treat the symptoms (surface waters), is thus misleading.
Cites: Nature. 2007 Nov 22;450(7169):537-4018033294
The FACET (Formoterol and Corticosteroid Establishing Therapy) study established that there is a clear clinical benefit in adding formoterol to budesonide therapy in patients who have persistent symptoms of asthma despite treatment with low to moderate doses of an inhaled corticosteroid. We combined the clinical results from the FACET study with an expert survey on average resource use in connection with mild and severe asthma exacerbations in the U.K., Sweden and Spain. The primary objective of this study was to assess the health economics of adding the inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol to the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide in the treatment of asthma. The extra costs of adding the inhaled beta2-agonist formoterol to the corticosteroid budesonide in asthmatic patients in Sweden were offset by savings from reduced use of resources for exacerbations. For Spain the picture was mixed. Adding formoterol to low dose budesonide generated savings, whereas for moderate doses of budesonide about 75% of the extra formoterol costs could be recouped. In the U.K., other savings offset about half of the extra cost of formoterol. All cost-effectiveness ratios are within accepted cost-effectiveness ranges reported from previous studies. If productivity losses were included, there were net savings in all three countries, ranging from Euro 267-1183 per patient per year. In conclusion, adding the inhaled, long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol to low-moderate doses of the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide generated significant gains in all outcome measures with partial or complete offset of costs. Adding formoterol to budesonide can thus be considered to be cost-effective.
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