Person-centred care for patients with chronic heart failure - a cost-utility analysis

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2016 Jun;15(4):276-84. doi: 10.1177/1474515114567035. Epub 2015 Jan 16.


Background: Costs of care for patients with chronic heart failure have been estimated at between 1% and 2% of the total health care expenditure in Europe and North America. Two-thirds are for inpatient care. Person-centred care (PCC) asserts that patients are persons and should not be reduced to their diseases alone.

Aims: The aim of this study was to estimate the cost-utility of PCC when compared with conventional care in patients hospitalized for worsening chronic heart failure.

Methods and results: Data for the cost-utility analysis were collected alongside a prospective clinical intervention study with a controlled before and after design from 2008 to 2010. Patient-specific resources used and preference-based health status data were collected at an individual level.Only 63% received PCC as intended illustrating the difficulties of introducing new methods in established organizations. The group intended to have PCC yielded higher costs in comparison with the conventional care group. The incremental cost was estimated as €98. The costs for those who actually received PCC, per protocol (PP) (63%) were significantly (p=0.026) lower than for those in the conventional care group, with an incremental cost-saving of €863. For the first three months, patients in the conventional care group showed decreasing health-related quality of life, with a corresponding improvement in the PCC(PP) group.

Conclusion: It must be emphasized, however, that these positive effects, both cheaper and somewhat better, were obtained only among those receiving the PCC intervention in its intended form, PCC(PP).

Keywords: Person-centred care; QALY; chronic heart failure; cost–utility analysis; organizational culture.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Europe
  • Heart Failure / economics*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*