An economic evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial (ATLAS).
ABSTRACT: To assess the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture and usual care, and Alexander Technique lessons and usual care, compared with usual GP care alone for chronic neck pain patients.An economic evaluation was undertaken alongside the ATLAS trial, taking both NHS and wider societal viewpoints. Participants were offered up to twelve acupuncture sessions or twenty Alexander lessons (equivalent overall contact time). Costs were in pounds sterling. Effectiveness was measured using the generic EQ-5D to calculate quality adjusted life years (QALYs), as well as using a specific neck pain measure-the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ).In the base case analysis, incremental QALY gains were 0.032 and 0.025 in the acupuncture and Alexander groups, respectively, in comparison to usual GP care, indicating moderate health benefits for both interventions. Incremental costs were £451 for acupuncture and £667 for Alexander, mainly driven by intervention costs. Acupuncture was likely to be cost-effective (ICER = £18,767/QALY bootstrapped 95% CI £4,426 to £74,562) and was robust to most sensitivity analyses. Alexander lessons were not cost-effective at the lower NICE threshold of £20,000/QALY (£25,101/QALY bootstrapped 95% CI -£150,208 to £248,697) but may be at £30,000/QALY, however, there was considerable statistical uncertainty in all tested scenarios.In comparison with usual care, acupuncture is likely to be cost-effective for chronic neck pain, whereas, largely due to higher intervention costs, Alexander lessons are unlikely to be cost-effective. However, there were high levels of missing data and further research is needed to assess the long-term cost-effectiveness of these interventions.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>ATLAS was a pragmatic randomised (1:1:1 ratio), controlled trial recruiting patients with chronic neck pain (N?=?517) and evaluating one-to-one Alexander Technique lessons, or acupuncture, each plus usual care, compared with usual care alone. The primary outcome (12-month Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire [NPQ]) demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful reductions in neck pain and associated disability for both interventions compared with usual care alone. Here we describe pre-specified, self-efficacy and other self-care-related outcomes for the Alexander group compared with usual care.<h4>Methods</h4>Participants reported on 11 self-efficacy/self-care-related outcome measures at 6 and 12 months. Linear or logistic regression models evaluated changes in parameters and impact on NPQ. Alexander teachers reported on lesson content.<h4>Results</h4>Lesson content reflected standard UK practice. The Alexander group (n?=?172) reported significantly greater improvements, compared with usual care alone (n?=?172), in most of the self-efficacy/self-care measures (9/11 measures at 6 months, and 8/11 at 12 months), including the ability to reduce pain in daily life. At 6 months, 81% (106/131) of Alexander participants reported significant improvement in the way they lived and cared for themselves (versus 23% for usual care), increasing to 87% (117/135) at 12 months (usual care: 25%). NPQ scores at both 6 and 12 months were related to improvement in self-efficacy and ability to reduce pain during daily life.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Alexander Technique lessons led to long-term improvements in the way participants lived their daily lives and managed their neck pain. Alexander lessons promote self-efficacy and self-care, with consequent reductions in chronic neck pain.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>New evidence on the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture plus usual care (acupuncture) and counselling plus usual care (counselling) for patients with depression suggests the need to investigate the health-related quality of life and costs of these treatments to understand whether they should be considered a good use of limited health resources.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>The cost-effectiveness analyses are based on the Acupuncture, Counselling or Usual care for Depression (ACUDep) trial results. Statistical analyses demonstrate a difference in mean quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and suggest differences in mean costs which are mainly due to the price of the interventions. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis is used to express decision uncertainty. Acupuncture and counselling are found to have higher mean QALYs and costs than usual care. In the base case analysis acupuncture has an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £4,560 per additional QALY and is cost-effective with a probability of 0.62 at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20,000 per QALY. Counselling compared with acupuncture is more effective and more costly with an ICER of £71,757 and a probability of being cost-effective of 0.36. A scenario analysis of counselling versus usual care, excluding acupuncture as a comparator, results in an ICER of £7,935 and a probability of 0.91.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Acupuncture is cost-effective compared with counselling or usual care alone, although the ranking of counselling and acupuncture depends on the relative cost of delivering these interventions. For patients in whom acupuncture is unavailable or perhaps inappropriate, counselling has an ICER less than most cost-effectiveness thresholds. However, further research is needed to determine the most cost-effective treatment pathways for depressed patients when the full range of available interventions is considered.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The collaborative treatment of acupuncture in addition to routine care as an approach for the management of low back pain (LBP) is receiving increasing recognition from both public and professional arenas. In 2010, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs (MOHW) of South Korea approved the practice of doctors and Oriental medical doctors (acupuncture qualified) working together in the same facility and offering collaborative treatment at the same time for the same disease. However, there is little more than anecdotal evidence on the health and economic implications of this current practice. Therefore, the objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness and costs of acupuncture in addition to routine care in the treatment of chronic LBP patients in South Korea. METHODS: The Markov model was developed to synthesise evidence on both costs and outcomes for patients with chronic LBP. We conducted the base case analysis, univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, and also performed the value of information analysis for future researches. Model parameters were sourced from systematic review of both alternatives, simple bibliographic reviews of relevant articles published in English or Korean, and statistical analyses of the 2005 and 2007 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey (KNHNS) data. The analyses were based on the societal perspective over a five year time horizon using a 5% discount rate. RESULTS: In the base case, collaborative treatment resulted in better outcomes, but at a relatively high cost. Overall, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of a collaborative practice was 3,421,394 KRW (Korean rate Won) per QALY (Quality adjusted life year) (2,895.80 USD per QALY). Univariate sensitivity analysis of indirect non-medical costs did not affect the preference order of the strategies. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis revealed that if the threshold was over 3,260,000 KRW per QALY (2,759.20 USD per QALY), the probability for cost-effectiveness of a collaborative practice would exceed 50%. At 20,000,000 KRW per QALY, which is recommended using per capita gross domestic product (GDP) as the threshold, the probability would be 72.3%. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of our findings, acupuncture collaborative therapy for patients with chronic LBP may be cost-effective if the usual threshold is applied. Further empirical studies are required to overcome the limitations of uncertainties and improve the precision of the results.
Project description:Lifestyle advice is widely considered as an integral component of acupuncture treatment. However, it is unclear whether lifestyle advice and related self-care are important for sustaining benefit over the longer term. In a novel secondary analysis of trial data, this paper explores the nature and impact of acupuncture-related diagnosis, and associated lifestyle advice and self-care, in patients with chronic neck pain.In a three-arm, randomized, controlled multicenter trial with 12 months of follow-up, a total of 517 patients with chronic neck pain were randomized in equal proportions to acupuncture, Alexander technique, or usual care alone.For each acupuncture patient, practitioners reported treatment components that included an acupuncture-related diagnosis and provision of associated lifestyle advice. Patients reported at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months on variables related to treatment, which included aspects of self-care, self-efficacy, and lifestyle advice acted upon, as well as pain and disability scores. Congruence between practitioner advice and patient take-up was assessed using chi-squared test. Impact of lifestyle advice and self-efficacy on outcome was evaluated using regression models.Among patients randomized to acupuncture, the most common diagnostic framework involved the Zang-Fu syndromes for 139/160 (87%) patients. Lifestyle advice was provided by practitioners to 134/160 (84%) of patients, most commonly related to exercise, relaxation, diet, rest, and work. Significant congruence with patient take-up was found for diet, rest, and work. Moreover, patients in the acupuncture group improved their ability to use what they had learnt and increased their self-efficacy. In turn, these characteristics were associated with significant reductions in pain and disability scores at 12 months.Acupuncture-related lifestyle advice helped patients improve the way they live and care for themselves and enhanced self-efficacy and ability to use what they had learnt. These changes were associated with reductions in pain and disability at 12 months.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>A large randomised controlled trial found that the provision of either Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture, for those with chronic neck pain, resulted in significantly increased self-efficacy when compared with usual care alone. In turn, enhanced self-efficacy was associated with significant reductions in neck pain at 6 and 12 months. In this analysis we explore the perspectives of participants within the trial, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how these interventions had an impact.<h4>Methods</h4>We used a longitudinal qualitative approach; in-depth interviews, informed by a topic guide, were conducted with a sample of the trial population. Participants were interviewed twice: at around six months (n?=?30) and twelve months (n?=?26) after trial entry. Analysis was guided by the principles of grounded theory, and key themes were developed.<h4>Results</h4>Five key themes emerged: pre-trial experiences of biomedical treatment against which subsequent interventions were compared; emergence of tangible benefits from the interventions; factors that contributed to the observed benefits, notably growing self-care and self-efficacy; a developing sense of embodiment as an integral part of the transformative process; and contribution of these factors to sustaining benefits over the longer term.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In-depth interviews revealed a rich array of experiences. They gave insight into the positive impact of the interventions on development of self-care, self-efficacy and embodiment. These findings complement the quantitative trial data, providing a more nuanced understanding of the factors that underpin the previously quantified improvement in self-efficacy and its association with longer-term reductions in pain.
Project description:To estimate the cost-effectiveness of remote monitoring strategies versus usual care for adults recently discharged after a heart failure (HF) exacerbation.Decision analysis modelling of cost-effectiveness using secondary data sources.Acute hospitals in the UK.Patients recently discharged (within 28 days) after a HF exacerbation.Structured telephone support (STS) via human to machine (STS HM) interface, (2) STS via human to human (STS HH) contact and (3) home telemonitoring (TM), compared with (4) usual care.The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained by each strategy compared to the next most effective alternative and the probability of each strategy being cost-effective at varying willingness to pay per QALY gained.TM was the most cost-effective strategy in the scenario using these base case costs. Compared with usual care, TM had an estimated incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £11 873/QALY, whereas STS HH had an ICER of £228 035/QALY against TM. STS HM was dominated by usual care. Threshold analysis suggested that the monthly cost of TM has to be higher than £390 to have an ICER greater than £20 000/QALY against STS HH. Scenario analyses performed using higher costs of usual care, higher costs of STS HH and lower costs of TM do not substantially change the conclusions.Cost-effectiveness analyses suggest that TM was an optimal strategy in most scenarios, but there is considerable uncertainty in relation to clear descriptions of the interventions and robust estimation of costs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>There is limited information on the costs and benefits of alternative adjunct non-pharmacological treatments for knee osteoarthritis and little guidance on which should be prioritised for commissioning within the NHS. This study estimates the costs and benefits of acupuncture, braces, heat treatment, insoles, interferential therapy, laser/light therapy, manual therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, pulsed electrical stimulation, pulsed electromagnetic fields, static magnets and transcutaneous electrical nerve Stimulation (TENS), based on all relevant data, to facilitate a more complete assessment of value.<h4>Methods</h4>Data from 88 randomised controlled trials including 7,507 patients were obtained from a systematic review. The studies reported a wide range of outcomes. These were converted into EQ-5D index values using prediction models, and synthesised using network meta-analysis. Analyses were conducted including firstly all trials and secondly only trials with low risk of selection bias. Resource use was estimated from trials, expert opinion and the literature. A decision analytic model synthesised all evidence to assess interventions over a typical treatment period (constant benefit over eight weeks or linear increase in effect over weeks zero to eight and dissipation over weeks eight to 16).<h4>Results</h4>When all trials are considered, TENS is cost-effective at thresholds of £20-30,000 per QALY with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £2,690 per QALY vs. usual care. When trials with a low risk of selection bias are considered, acupuncture is cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £13,502 per QALY vs. TENS. The results of the analysis were sensitive to varying the intensity, with which interventions were delivered, and the magnitude and duration of intervention effects on EQ-5D.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Using the £20,000 per QALY NICE threshold results in TENS being cost-effective if all trials are considered. If only higher quality trials are considered, acupuncture is cost-effective at this threshold, and thresholds down to £14,000 per QALY.
Project description:To determine whether acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in patients with cancer with a history of neck dissection. The secondary objective is to determine whether acupuncture relieves dry mouth in this population.Patients at a tertiary cancer center with chronic pain or dysfunction attributed to neck dissection were randomly assigned to weekly acupuncture versus usual care (eg, physical therapy, analgesia, and/or anti-inflammatory drugs, per patient preference or physician recommendation) for 4 weeks. The Constant-Murley score, a composite measure of pain, function, and activities of daily living, was the primary outcome measure. Xerostomia, a secondary end point, was assessed using the Xerostomia Inventory.Fifty-eight evaluable patients were accrued and randomly assigned from 2004 to 2007 (28 and 30 patients on acupuncture and control arms, respectively). Constant-Murley scores improved more in the acupuncture group (adjusted difference between groups = 11.2; 95% CI, 3.0 to 19.3; P = .008). Acupuncture produced greater improvement in reported xerostomia (adjusted difference in Xerostomia Inventory = -5.8; 95% CI, -0.9 to -10.7; P = .02).Significant reductions in pain, dysfunction, and xerostomia were observed in patients receiving acupuncture versus usual care. Although further study is needed, these data support the potential role of acupuncture in addressing post-neck dissection pain and dysfunction, as well as xerostomia.
Project description:BACKGROUND CONTEXT:Chronic neck pain is a prevalent and disabling condition among older adults. Despite the large burden of neck pain, little is known regarding the cost-effectiveness of commonly used treatments. PURPOSE:This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of home exercise and advice (HEA), spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) plus HEA, and supervised rehabilitative exercise (SRE) plus HEA. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING:Cost-effectiveness analysis conducted alongside a randomized clinical trial (RCT) was performed. PATIENT SAMPLE:A total of 241 older adults (?65 years) with chronic mechanical neck pain comprised the patient sample. OUTCOME MEASURES:The outcome measures were direct and indirect costs, neck pain, neck disability, SF-6D-derived quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) over a 1-year time horizon. METHODS:This work was supported by grants from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (#F32AT007507), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (#P60AR062799), and Health Resources and Services Administration (#R18HP01425). The RCT is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT00269308). A societal perspective was adopted for the primary analysis. A healthcare perspective was adopted as a sensitivity analysis. Cost-effectivenesswas a secondary aim of the RCT which was not powered for differences in costs or QALYs. Differences in costs and clinical outcomes were estimated using generalized estimating equations and linear mixed models, respectively. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were calculated to assess the uncertainty surrounding cost-effectiveness estimates. RESULTS:Total costs for SMT+HEA were 5% lower than HEA (mean difference: -$111; 95% confidence interval [CI] -$1,354 to $899) and 47% lower than SRE+HEA (mean difference: -$1,932; 95% CI -$2,796 to -$1,097). SMT+HEA also resulted in a greater reduction of neck pain over the year relative to HEA (0.57; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.92) and SRE+HEA (0.41; 95% CI 0.05 to 0.76). Differences in disability and QALYs favored SMT+HEA. The probability that adding SMT to HEA is cost-effective at willingness to pay thresholds of $50,000 to $200,000 per QALY gained ranges from 0.75 to 0.81. If adopting a health-care perspective, costs for SMT+HEA were 66% higher than HEA (mean difference: $515; 95% CI $225 to $1,094), resulting in an ICER of $55,975 per QALY gained. CONCLUSION:On average, SMT+HEA resulted in better clinical outcomes and lower total societal costs relative to SRE+HEA and HEA alone, with a 0.75 to 0.81 probability of cost-effectiveness for willingness to pay thresholds of $50,000 to $200,000 per QALY.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Acupuncture is increasingly being used for many conditions including chronic neck pain. However the evidence remains inconclusive, indicating the need for further well-designed research. The aim of this study was to conduct a pilot randomised controlled parallel arm trial, to establish key features required for the design and implementation of a large-scale trial on acupuncture for chronic neck pain. METHODS: Patients whose GPs had diagnosed neck pain were recruited from one general practice, and randomised to receive usual GP care only, or acupuncture (up to 10 treatments over 3 months) as an adjunctive treatment to usual GP care. The primary outcome measure was the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ) at 3 months. The primary analysis was to determine the sample size for the full scale study. RESULTS: Of the 227 patients with neck pain identified from the GP database, 28 (12.3%) consenting patients were eligible to participate in the pilot and 24 (10.5%) were recruited to the trial. Ten patients were randomised to acupuncture, receiving an average of eight treatments from one of four acupuncturists, and 14 were randomised to usual GP care alone. The sample size for the full scale trial was calculated from a clinically meaningful difference of 5% on the NPQ and, from this pilot, an adjusted standard deviation of 15.3%. Assuming 90% power at the 5% significance level, a sample size of 229 would be required in each arm in a large-scale trial when allowing for a loss to follow-up rate of 14%. In order to achieve this sample, one would need to identify patients from databases of GP practices with a total population of 230,000 patients, or approximately 15 GP practices roughly equal in size to the one involved in this study (i.e. 15,694 patients). CONCLUSION: This pilot study has allowed a number of recommendations to be made to facilitate the design of a large-scale trial, which in turn will help to clarify the existing evidence base on acupuncture for neck pain.