An economic evaluation of alternative test-intervention strategies to prevent spontaneous pre-term birth in singleton pregnancies
Source: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, Volume 88, Number 12, December 2009 , pp. 1319-1330(12)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Objective. To investigate the potential cost-effectiveness of alternative ‘test-and-treat’ strategies in the prevention of spontaneous pre-term birth before 34 and 37 weeks' gestation. Design. Model-based economic evaluation. Setting. Clinics, general practices, health centers or any setting delivering antenatal care. Population. Asymptomatic women in early pregnancy and symptomatic women with threatened pre-term labor in later pregnancy. Methods. Data from systematic reviews of effectiveness and accuracy were combined into strategies and analyzed using a decision-tree model. Full deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were carried out. Main outcome measures. Spontaneous pre-term labor avoided for asymptomatic women and spontaneous pre-term birth avoided for symptomatic women. Results. The systematic reviews identified evidence on the accuracy of 22 types of tests and on the effectiveness of 40 possible interventions. Cost data were based on secondary evidence, supplemented with primary data from local sources. Testing prior to intervention was not shown to be the most cost-effective strategy in the main analyses for 34 and 37 weeks. Prophylactic fish oil in asymptomatic women, without prior testing, was highlighted as potentially cost-effective in preventing threatened pre-term labor before 34 weeks. In symptomatic women with a viable pregnancy, indomethacin without prior testing was a potentially cost-effective strategy to prevent pre-term birth occurring before 37 weeks. Conclusion. An effective, affordable and safe intervention applied to all mothers without prior testing is likely to be the most cost-effective strategy in the prevention of spontaneous pre-term labor and birth. The results reported in this paper are important for prioritizing future research, world-wide.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: 1Health Economics Unit, School of Population and Health Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 2: 2Department of Obstetrics-Gynaecology and Clinical Epidemiology, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birmingham, UK 3: 3Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, UK 4: 4Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Publication date: December 2009