Background: A cost-effectiveness evaluation comparing home-based and hospital-based treatment with intravenous antibiotics for respiratory exacerbations in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) has not been previously undertaken.
Methods: The study was conducted in a UK adult CF centre from a health service perspective. Clinical outcome and resource use data were obtained from a retrospective one-year study and combined with unit cost data in an incremental economic analysis. The primary outcome measure was percentage change in FEV(1); "effectiveness" was defined as maintenance of baseline average FEV(1) over the one-year study period.
Results: 116 patients received 454 courses of intravenous antibiotics. At the end of 1 year, there had been a mean percentage decline in FEV(1) compared with baseline average for home-treated patients but an improvement for hospital-treated patients (Tukey's HSD mean difference 10.1%, 95% CI 2.9 to 17.2, p = 0.003). Treatment was deemed "effective" in more hospital (58.8%) than home (42.6%) patients. The cost of hospital treatment was higher than home treatment (mean difference 9,005 pounds, 95% CI 3,507 to 14,700, p<0.001). The mean ICER was 46,098 pounds (2.5th and 97.5th percentiles -374,044 and 362,472).
Conclusions: Hospital treatment was more effective but more expensive than home treatment. Potential methods to improve outcome at home should be considered but these may have resource implications.