Objectives: To provide a comprehensive overview of health economic evaluations of patient education interventions for people living with chronic illness.
Methods: Relevant literature published between 2000 and 2016 has been comprehensively reviewed, with attention paid to variations in study, intervention, and patient characteristics.
Results: Of the 4693 titles identified, 56 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in this scoping review. Of the studies reviewed, 46 concluded that patient education interventions were beneficial in terms of decreased hospitalization, visits to Emergency Departments or General Practitioners, provide benefits in terms of quality-adjusted life years, and reduce loss of production. Eight studies found no health economic impact of the interventions.
Conclusions: The results of this review strongly suggest that patient education interventions, regardless of study design and time horizon, are an effective tool to cut costs. This is a relatively new area of research, and there is a great need of more research within this field.
Practice implications: In bringing this evidence together, our hope is that healthcare providers and managers can use this information within a broad decision-making process, as guidance in discussions of care quality and of how to provide appropriate, cost-effective patient education interventions.
Keywords: Chronic disease; Disease management; Health economic evaluation; Health economic impact; Patient education.
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