The cost-effectiveness of an indicated blended care intervention in primary care compared to usual care in patients with moderate persistent somatic symptoms

S A J Toonders*, P E van Westrienen, N J de Wit, J M van Dongen, M Gerrits, M F Pisters, C Veenhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Appropriate treatment for people with an increased risk for developing chronic Persistent Somatic Symptoms (PSS) is of great importance at an early stage to improve quality of life and prevent high costs for society.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an integrated blended care intervention compared to usual care for QALYs, subjective symptom impact and physical and mental health status in patients with moderate PSS.

METHODS: This economic evaluation was conducted alongside a 12-month prospective, multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial in Dutch primary care. 80 participants received the intervention and 80 participants received usual care. Seemingly unrelated regression analyzes were performed to estimate cost and effect differences. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation. Bootstrapping techniques were used to estimate uncertainty.

RESULTS: We found no significant difference in total societal costs. Intervention, primary and secondary healthcare and absenteeism costs were higher for the intervention group. The ICER for QALYs demonstrated the intervention was on average less costly and less effective compared to usual care. For the subjective symptom impact and physical health, the ICER indicated that the intervention group was on average less costly and more effective. For mental health, the intervention was on average more costly and less effective.

CONCLUSION: We didn't find an integrated blended primary care intervention to be cost-effective compared to usual care. However, when looking on relevant, but specific outcome measures (subjective symptom impact and physical health) for this population, average costs are found to be lower and the effectiveness found to be higher.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111387
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume171
Early online date26 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Blended care
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Medically unexplained symptoms
  • Persistent somatic symptoms
  • Primary care

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