Cost-effectiveness analysis of a multifactorial fall prevention intervention in older home care clients at risk for falling
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BACKGROUND: Falls among older adults can cause serious morbidity and pose economic burdens on society. Older age is a known risk factor for falls and age has been shown to influence the effectiveness of fall prevention programs. To our knowledge, no studies have explicitly investigated whether cost-effectiveness of a multifactorial fall prevention intervention (the intervention) is influenced by age. This economic evaluation explores: 1) the cost-effectiveness of a multifactorial fall prevention intervention compared to usual care for community-dwelling adults ≥ 75 years at risk of falling in Canada; and 2) the influence of age on the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. METHODS: Net benefit regression was used to examine the cost-effectiveness of the intervention with willingness-to-pay values ranging from $0-$50,000. Effects were measured as change in the number of falls, from baseline to 6-month follow-up. Costs were measured using a societal perspective. The cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted for both the total sample and by age subgroups (75-84 and 85+ years). RESULTS: For the total sample, the intervention was not economically attractive. However, the intervention was cost-effective at higher willingness-to-pay (WTP) (≥ $25,000) for adults 75-84 years and at lower WTP (< $5,000) for adults 85+ years. CONCLUSIONS: The cost-effectiveness of the intervention depends on age and decision makers' WTP to prevent falls. Understanding the influence of age on the cost-effectiveness of an intervention may help to target resources to those who benefit most. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00463658 (18 April 2007).
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