Cost-effectiveness of postoperative rehabilitation after surgery for lumbar disc herniation: an analysis based on a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether routine referral to municipal postoperative rehabilitation is cost-effective in comparison to no referral after surgery for lumbar disc herniation (LDH).

METHODS: One hundred forty-six patients scheduled for primary discectomy due to LDH were included. This secondary analysis, based on data from a previous randomized controlled trial, compared costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) between two groups of patients recovering from LDH surgery: one group of patients received a referral for municipal physical rehabilitation (REHAB) and the other group was sent home without a referral to any postoperative rehabilitation (HOME). Primary outcomes were QALYs calculated from the EQ-5D utility score, societal costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). The main cost-effectiveness analysis used intention-to-treat data, whereas sensitivity analyses included as-treated data. Questionnaires were collected after 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.

RESULTS: The main cost-effectiveness analysis showed a small, insignificant incremental QALY of 0.021 and an incremental cost of €211.8 for the REHAB group compared to the HOME group, resulting in an ICER of €10,085. In the as-treated sensitivity analysis, the REHAB group had poorer outcomes and higher costs compared to the HOME group.

CONCLUSIONS: Routine referral to municipal physical rehabilitation in patients recovering from LDH surgery was not cost-effective compared to no referral.Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03505918 (clinicaltrials.gov).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Volume32
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)733-740
ISSN1547-5654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Discectomy
  • Economic evaluation
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Physical training
  • Recovery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spine surgery
  • Supervised physical exercise

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