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Self-management programme for COPD ‘likely to be cost-effective’, study finds

A self-management programme for COPD patients is ‘likely to be cost-effective’ compared to usual care, according to a new economic analysis.

The intervention – termed Self-management Programme of Activity, Coping and Education (SPACE FOR COPD) – includes educational materials, exercise and activity programmes as well as access to expert guidance.

An earlier, single-blinded randomised controlled trial including 184 participants showed it improved patients’ dyspnoea, fatigue and emotional scores over six weeks when compared with usual care, with improvements in fatigue and emotional scores also maintained after six months.

Now, an economic analysis of the study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has found that the intervention is likely to be cost-effective compared to usual care over a six-month time frame.

The study tracked patients’ use of medications, emergency services and primary care resources for six months following treatment.

Despite SPACE FOR COPD costing more to deliver than usual care over the six-month period, the intervention proved cost-effective, coming in at £280.39 per QALY gained and having a 97% probability of cost-effectiveness at the NICE-recommended threshold of £20,000/QALY gained.

The cost of delivering SPACE FOR COPD was approximately £30 than higher than the cost of usual care. The researchers suggested that the increased price could be due to patients being more educated about their condition and therefore more likely to adhere to their medications, recognise exacerbations and access primary or secondary care for help.

Professor Sally Singh, head of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation at University Hospital Leicester, one of the hospitals participating in the trial, said: ‘Findings from this economic evaluation are hugely encouraging because they demonstrate that SPACE FOR COPD is cost-effective compared to routine care and importantly, the patients really valued the intervention.’


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