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Free Content Incremental cost-effectiveness of improving treatment results among migrant tuberculosis patients in Shanghai

SETTING: Two projects were introduced in October 2007 to improve treatment completion among rural-to-urban migrant tuberculosis (TB) patients in Shanghai. The Communicable Disease Research Consortium (COMDIS) project provided financial incentives to poor patients, whereas the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) project provided incentives to all patients and increased staff time.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the incremental cost-effectiveness of these two projects.

METHODS: Case study. Costs were assessed from a societal perspective. The primary measure of effectiveness was the treatment completion rate. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated as the additional cost of the intervention divided by the additional percentage of patients completing treatment compared to controls.

RESULTS: Post intervention, the treatment completion rates in the COMDIS and Global Fund projects were respectively 89% and 88%, 17% and 16% higher than in the control district (76%). For one additional per cent of patients to complete treatment, the additional cost of the COMDIS intervention was US$1891, 91% lower than that of the Global Fund intervention (US$21 904).

CONCLUSION: The intervention that addressed the financial barriers of poor patients was more cost-effective than the comprehensive intervention that provided assistance to both patients and providers. Further study is needed to understand the process of interventions prior to wider scale-up.

Keywords: economic evaluation; financial incentives; treatment completion; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Communicable Disease Research Consortium China Programme, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds, Shenzhen, China; Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK 2: School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China 3: Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK 4: Communicable Disease Research Consortium China Programme, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds, Shenzhen, China 5: Shanghai Changning District Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai, China 6: Shanghai Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai, China 7: Shanghai Zhabei District Centre for Health Technology and Information, Shanghai, China 8: Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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