Background: There is increasing evidence highlighting the effectiveness of patient decision aids (PtDAs), but evidence supporting their cost-effectiveness is lacking. We consider patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in whom a PtDA may decrease nonadherence to treatment by empowering patients to receive the option that is most congruent with their own values.
Objective: To determine the potential costs and benefits of delivering a PtDA to patients with moderate OSA.
Methods: A Markov cohort decision-analytic model was developed for patients with moderate OSA, comparing a PtDA to usual care over 5 years from a societal perspective. Data for patient preference for treatment options was taken from a recent randomized crossover trial, event data (cardiovascular, motor vehicle accidents) came from national databases and published literature. Potential improvements in adherence are unknown, so we considered a realistic range of values. Outcome measures were 5-year costs (in 2010 Canadian dollars), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).
Results: When adherence to treatment was unchanged, the PtDA strategy was dominated by incurring lower QALYs and higher costs. When nonadherence was decreased by 20% in the PtDA arm (corresponding to an increase in adherence from 63% to 70% for continuous positive airway pressure and from 77% to 82% for mandibular advancement splints in year 1), the ICER fell to $62,414/QALY. Costs associated with the treatment devices and delivering the PtDA had the greatest effect on cost-effectiveness.
Limitations: The model relies on surrogate measures and opinions for key parameters.
Conclusions: The cost-effectiveness of PtDAs will depend on contextual factors, but a framework is described for properly considering their long-term cost-effectiveness. A number of important questions around the appropriateness of benefit measurement for PtDA trials are highlighted.
Keywords: cost-effectiveness analysis; decision aids, patient decision making; economics.
© The Author(s) 2014.