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PubMed Central Canada to be taken offline in February 2018

On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  World Congress Integrative Medicine & Health 2017: Part one 
Brinkhaus, Benno | Falkenberg, Torkel | Haramati, Aviad | Willich, Stefan N. | Briggs, Josephine P. | Willcox, Merlin | Linde, Klaus | Theorell, Töres | Wong, Lisa M. | Dusek, Jeffrey | Wu, Darong | Eisenberg, David | Haramati, Aviad | Berger, Bettina | Kemper, Kathi | Stock-Schröer, Beate | Sützl-Klein, Hedda | Ferreri, Rosaria | Kaplan, Gary | Matthes, Harald | Rotter, Gabriele | Schiff, Elad | Arnon, Zahi | Hahn, Eckhard | Luberto, Christina M. | Martin, David | Schwarz, Silke | Tauschel, Diethard | Flower, Andrew | Gramminger, Harsha | Gupta, Hedwig H. | Gupta, S. N. | Kerckhoff, Annette | Kessler, Christian S. | Michalsen, Andreas | Kessler, Christian S. | Kim, Eun S. | Jang, Eun H. | Kim, Rana | Jan, Sae B. | Mittwede, Martin | Mohme, Wiebke | Ben-Arye, Eran | Bonucci, Massimo | Saad, Bashar | Breitkreuz, Thomas | Rossi, Elio | Kebudi, Rejin | Daher, Michel | Razaq, Samaher | Gafer, Nahla | Nimri, Omar | Hablas, Mohamed | Kienle, Gunver Sophia | Samuels, Noah | Silbermann, Michael | Bandelin, Lena | Lang, Anna-Lena | Wartner, Eva | Holtermann, Christoph | Binstock, Maxwell | Riebau, Robert | Mujkanovic, Edin | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Michalsen, Andres | Ward, Lesley | Cramer, Holger | Irnich, Dominik | Stör, Wolfram | Burnstock, Geoffrey | Schaible, Hans-Georg | Ots, Thomas | Langhorst, Jost | Lauche, Romy | Sundberg, Tobias | Falkenberg, Torkel | Amarell, Catherina | Amarell, Catherina | Anheyer, Melanie | Eckert, Marion | Eckert, Marion | Ogal, Mercedes | Eckert, Marion | Amarell, Catherina | Schönauer, Annette | Reisenberger, Birgit | Brand, Bernhard | Anheyer, Dennis | Dobos, Gustav | Kroez, Matthias | Martin, David | Matthes, Harald | Ammendola, Aldo | Mao, Jun J. | Witt, Claudia | Yang, Yufei | Dobos, Gustav | Oritz, Miriam | Horneber, Markus | Voiß, Petra | Reisenberger, Birgit | von Rosenstiel, Alexandra | Eckert, Marion | Ogal, Mercedes | Amarell, Catharina | Anheyer, Melanie | Schad, Friedemann | Schläppi, Marc | Kröz, Matthias | Büssing, Arndt | Bar-Sela, Gil | Matthes, Harald | Schiff, Elad | Ben-Arye, Eran | Arnon, Zahi | Avshalomov, David | Attias, Samuel | Schönauer, Annette | Haramati, Aviad | Witt, Claudia | Brinkhaus, Benno | Cotton, Sian | Jong, Miek | Jong, Mats | Scheffer, Christian | Haramati, Aviad | Tauschel, Diethard | Edelhäuser, Friedrich | AlBedah, Abdullah | Lee, Myeong Soo | Khalil, Mohamed | Ogawa, Keiko | Motoo, Yoshiharu | Arimitsu, Junsuke | Ogawa, Masao | Shimizu, Genki | Stange, Rainer | Kraft, Karin | Kuchta, Kenny | Watanabe, Kenji | Bonin, D | Büssing, Arndt | Gruber, Harald | Koch, Sabine | Gruber, Harald | Pohlmann, Urs | Caldwell, Christine | Krantz, Barbara | Kortum, Ria | Martin, Lily | Wieland, Lisa S. | Kligler, Ben | Gould-Fogerite, Susan | Zhang, Yuqing | Wieland, Lisa S. | Riva, John J. | Lumpkin, Michael | Ratner, Emily | Ping, Liu | Jian, Pei | Hamme, Gesa-Meyer | Mao, Xiaosong | Chouping, Han | Schröder, Sven | Hummelsberger, Josef | Wullinger, Michael | Brodzky, Marc | Zalpour, Christoff | Langley, Julia | Weber, Wendy | Mudd, Lanay M. | Wayne, Peter | Witt, Clauda | Weidenhammer, Wolfgang | Fønnebø, Vinjar | Boon, Heather | Steel, Amie | Bugarcic, Andrea | Rangitakatu, Melisa | Steel, Amie | Adams, Jon | Sibbritt, David | Wardle, Jon | Leach, Matthew | Schloss, Janet | Dieze, Helene | Boon, Heather | Ijaz, Nadine | Willcox, Merlin | Heinrich, Michael | Lewith, George | Flower, Andrew | Graz, Bertrand | Adam, Daniela | Grabenhenrich, Linus | Ortiz, Miriam | Binting, Sylvia | Reinhold, Thomas | Brinkhaus, Benno | Andermo, Susanne | Sundberg, Tobias | Falkenberg, Torkel | Nordberg, Johanna Hök | Arman, Maria | Bhasin, Manoj | Fan, Xueyi | Libermann, Towia | Fricchione, Gregory | Denninger, John | Benson, Herbert | Berger, Bettina | Stange, Rainer | Michalsen, Andreas | Martin, David D. | Boers, Inge | Vlieger, Arine | Jong, Miek | Brinkhaus, Benno | Teut, Michael | Ullmann, Alexander | Ortiz, Miriam | Rotter, Gabriele | Binting, Sylvia | Lotz, Fabian | Roll, Stephanie | Canella, Claudia | Mikolasek, Michael | Rostock, Matthias | Beyer, Jörg | Guckenberger, Matthias | Jenewein, Josef | Linka, Esther | Six, Claudia | Stoll, Sarah | Stupp, Roger | Witt, Claudia M. | Chuang, Elisabeth | Kligler, Ben | McKee, Melissa D. | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Klose, Petra | Lange, Silke | Langhorst, Jost | Dobos, Gustav | Chung, Vincent C. H. | Wong, Hoi L. C. | Wu, Xin Y. | Wen, Grace Y. G. | Ho, Robin S. T. | Ching, Jessica Y. L. | Wu, Justin C. Y. | Coakley, Amanda | Flanagan, Jane | Annese, Christine | Empoliti, Joanne | Gao, Zishan | Liu, Xugang | Yu, Shuguang | Yan, Xianzhong | Liang, Fanrong | Hohmann, Christoph D. | Steckhan, Nico | Ostermann, Thomas | Paetow, Arion | Hoff, Evelyn | Michalsen, Andreas | Hu, Xiao-Yang | Wu, Ruo-Han | Logue, Martin | Blonde, Clara | Lai, Lily Y. | Stuart, Beth | Flower, Andrew | Fei, Yu-Tong | Moore, Michael | Liu, Jian-Ping | Lewith, George | Hu, Xiao-Yang | Wu, Ruo-Han | Logue, Martin | Blonde, Clara | Lai, Lily Y. | Stuart, Beth | Flower, Andrew | Fei, Yu-Tong | Moore, Michael | Liu, Jian-Ping | Lewith, George | Jeitler, Michael | Zillgen, Hannah | Högl, Manuel | Steckhan, Nico | Stöckigt, Barbara | Seifert, Georg | Michalsen, Andreas | Kessler, Christian | Khadivzadeh, Talat | Bashtian, Maryam Hassanzadeh | Aval, Shapour Badiee | Esmaily, Habibollah | Kim, Jihye | Kim, Keun H. | Klocke, Carina | Joos, Stefanie | Koshak, Abdulrahman | Wie, Li | Koshak, Emad | Wali, Siraj | Alamoudi, Omer | Demerdash, Abdulrahman | Qutub, Majdy | Pushparaj, Peter | Heinrich, Michael | Kruse, Sigrid | Fischer, Isabell | Tremel, Nadine | Rosenecker, Joseph | Leung, Brenda | Takeda, Wendy | Liang, Ning | Feng, Xue | Liu, Jian-ping | Cao, Hui-juan | Luberto, Christina M. | Shinday, Nina | Philpotts, Lisa | Park, Elyse | Fricchione, Gregory L. | Yeh, Gloria | Munk, Niki | Zakeresfahani, Arash | Foote, Trevor R. | Ralston, Rick | Boulanger, Karen | Özbe, Dominik | Gräßel, Elmar | Luttenberger, Katharina | Pendergrass, Anna | Pach, Daniel | Bellmann-Strobl, Judit | Chang, Yinhui | Pasura, Laura | Liu, Bin | Jäger, Sven F. | Loerch, Ronny | Jin, Li | Brinkhaus, Benno | Ortiz, Miriam | Reinhold, Thomas | Roll, Stephanie | Binting, Sylvia | Icke, Katja | Shi, Xuemin | Paul, Friedemann | Witt, Claudia M. | Rütz, Michaela | Lynen, Andreas | Schömitz, Meike | Vahle, Maik | Salomon, Nir | Lang, Alon | Lahat, Adi | Kopylov, Uri | Ben-Horin, Shomron | Har-Noi, Ofir | Avidan, Benjamin | Elyakim, Rami | Gamus, Dorit | NG, Siew | Chang, Jessica | Wu, Justin | Kaimiklotis, John | Schumann, Dania | Buttó, Ludovica | Langhorst, Jost | Dobos, Gustav | Haller, Dirk | Cramer, Holger | Smith, Caroline | de Lacey, Sheryl | Chapman, Michael | Ratcliffe, Julie | Johnson, Neil | Lyttleton, Jane | Boothroyd, Clare | Fahey, Paul | Tjaden, Bram | van Vliet, Marja | van Wietmarschen, Herman | Jong, Miek | Tröger, Wilfried | Vuolanto, Pia | Aarva, Paulina | Sorsa, Minna | Helin, Kaija | Wenzel, Claudia | Zoderer, Iris | Pammer, Patricia | Simon, Patrick | Tucek, Gerhard | Wode, Kathrin | Henriksson, Roger | Sharp, Lena | Stoltenberg, Anna | Nordberg, Johanna Hök | Xiao-ying, Yang | Wang, Li-qiong | Li, Jin-gen | Liang, Ning | Wang, Ying | Liu, Jian-ping | Balneaves, Lynda | Capler, Rielle | Bocci, Chiara | Guffi, Marta | Paolini, Marina | Meaglia, Ilaria | Porcu, Patrizia | Ivaldi, Giovanni B. | Dragan, Simona | Bucuras, Petru | Pah, Ana M. | Badalica-Petrescu, Marius | Buleu, Florina | Hogea-Stoichescu, Gheorghe | Christodorescu, Ruxandra | Kao, Lan | Cho, Yumin | Klafke, Nadja | Mahler, Cornelia | von Hagens, Cornelia | Uhlmann, Lorenz | Bentner, Martina | Schneeweiss, Andreas | Mueller, Andreas | Szecsenyi, Joachim | Joos, Stefanie | Neri, Isabella | Ortiz, Miriam | Schnabel, Katharina | Teut, Michael | Rotter, Gabriele | Binting, Sylvia | Cree, Margit | Lotz, Fabian | Suhr, Ralf | Brinkhaus, Benno | Rossi, Elio | Baccetti, Sonia | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Monechi, Maria V. | Di Stefano, Mariella | Amunni, Gianni | Wong, Wendy | Chen, Bingzhong | Wu, Justin | Amri, Hakima | Haramati, Aviad | Kotlyanskaya, Lucy | Anderson, Belinda | Evans, Roni | Kligler, Ben | Marantz, Paul | Bradley, Ryan | Booth-LaForce, Cathryn | Zwickey, Heather | Kligler, Benjamin | Brooks, Audrey | Kreitzer, Mary J. | Lebensohn, Patricia | Goldblatt, Elisabeth | Esmel-Esmel, Neus | Jiménez-Herrera, Maria | Ijaz, Nadine | Boon, Heather | Jocham, Alexandra | Stock-Schröer, Beate | Berberat, Pascal O. | Schneider, Antonius | Linde, Klaus | Masetti, Morgana | Murakozy, Henriette | Van Vliet, Marja | Jong, Mats | Jong, Miek | Agdal, Rita | Atarzadeh, Fatemeh | Jaladat, Amir M. | Hoseini, Leila | Amini, Fatemeh | Bai, Chen | Liu, Tiegang | Zheng, Zian | Wan, Yuxiang | Xu, Jingnan | Wang, Xuan | Yu, He | Gu, Xiaohong | Daneshfard, Babak | Nimrouzi, Majid | Tafazoli, Vahid | Alorizi, Seyed M. Emami | Saghebi, Seyed A. | Fattahi, Mohammad R. | Salehi, Alireza | Rezaeizadeh, Hossein | Zarshenas, Mohammad M. | Nimrouzi, Majid | Fox, Kealoha | Hughes, John | Kostanjsek, Nenad | Espinosa, Stéphane | Lewith, George | Fisher, Peter | Latif, Abdul | Lefeber, Donald | Paske, William | Öztürk, Ali Ö. | Öztürk, Gizemnur | Boers, Inge | Tissing, Wim | Naafs, Marianne | Busch, Martine | Jong, Miek | Daneshfard, Babak | Sanaye, Mohammad R. | Dräger, Kilian | Fisher, Peter | Kreitzer, Mary J. | Evans, Roni | Leininger, Brent | Shafto, Kate | Breen, Jenny | Sanaye, Mohammad R. | Daneshfard, Babak | Simões-Wüst, Ana P. | Moltó-Puigmartí, Carolina | van Dongen, Martien | Dagnelie, Pieter | Thijs, Carel | White, Shelley | Wiesener, Solveig | Salamonsen, Anita | Stub, Trine | Fønnebø, Vinjar | Abanades, Sergio | Blanco, Mar | Masllorens, Laia | Sala, Roser | Al-Ahnoumy, Shafekah | Han, Dongwoon | He, Luzhu | Kim, Ha Yun | In Choi, Da | Alræk, Terje | Stub, Trine | Kristoffersen, Agnete | von Sceidt, Christel | Michalsen, Andreas | Bruset, Stig | Musial, Frauke | Anheyer, Dennis | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Saha, Felix J. | Dobos, Gustav | Anheyer, Dennis | Haller, Heidemarie | Lauche, Romy | Dobos, Gustav | Cramer, Holger | Azizi, Hoda | Khadem, Nayereh | Hassanzadeh, Malihe | Estiri, Nazanin | Azizi, Hamideh | Tavassoli, Fatemeh | Lotfalizadeh, Marzieh | Zabihi, Reza | Esmaily, Habibollah | Azizi, Hoda | Shabestari, Mahmoud Mohammadzadeh | Paeizi, Reza | Azari, Masoumeh Alvandi | Bahrami-Taghanaki, Hamidreza | Zabihi, Reza | Azizi, Hamideh | Esmaily, Habibollah | Baars, Erik | De Bruin, Anja | Ponstein, Anne | Baccetti, Sonia | Di Stefano, Mariella | Rossi, Elio | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Segantini, Sergio | Monechi, Maria Valeria | Voller, Fabio | Barth, Jürgen | Kern, Alexandra | Lüthi, Sebastian | Witt, Claudia | Barth, Jürgen | Zieger, Anja | Otto, Fabius | Witt, Claudia | Beccia, Ariel | Dunlap, Corina | Courneene, Brendan | Bedregal, Paula | Passi, Alvaro | Rodríguez, Alfredo | Chang, Mayling | Gutiérrez, Soledad | Beissner, Florian | Beissner, Florian | Preibisch, Christine | Schweizer-Arau, Annemarie | Popovici, Roxana | Meissner, Karin | Beljanski, Sylvie | Belland, Laura | Rivera-Reyes, Laura | Hwang, Ula | Berger, Bettina | Sethe, Dominik | Hilgard, Dörte | Heusser, Peter | Bishop, Felicity | Al-Abbadey, Miznah | Bradbury, Katherine | Carnes, Dawn | Dimitrov, Borislav | Fawkes, Carol | Foster, Jo | MacPherson, Hugh | Roberts, Lisa | Yardley, Lucy | Lewith, George | Bishop, Felicity | Al-Abbadey, Miznah | Bradbury, Katherine | Carnes, Dawn | Dimitrov, Borislav | Fawkes, Carol | Foster, Jo | MacPherson, Hugh | Roberts, Lisa | Yardley, Lucy | Lewith, George | Bishop, Felicity | Holmes, Michelle | Lewith, George | Yardley, Lucy | Little, Paul | Cooper, Cyrus | Bogani, Patrizia | Maggini, Valentina | Gallo, Eugenia | Miceli, Elisangela | Biffi, Sauro | Mengoni, Alessio | Fani, Renato | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Brands-Guendling, Nadine | Guendling, Peter W. | Bronfort, Gert | Evans, Roni | Haas, Mitch | Leininger, Brent | Schulz, Craig | Bu, Xiangwei | Wang, J. | Fang, T. | Shen, Z. | He, Y. | Zhang, X. | Zhang, Zhengju | Wang, Dali | Meng, Fengxian | Büssing, Arndt | Baumann, Klaus | Frick, Eckhard | Jacobs, Christoph | Büssing, Arndt | Grünther, Ralph-Achim | Lötzke, Désirée | Büssing, Arndt | Jung, Sonny | Lötzke, Désirée | Recchia, Daniela R. | Robens, Sibylle | Ostermann, Thomas | Berger, Bettina | Stankewitz, Josephin | Kröz, Matthias | Jeitler, Mika | Kessler, Christian | Michalsen, Andreas | Cheon, Chunhoo | Jang, Bo H. | Ko, Seong G. | Huang, Ching W. | Sasaki, Yui | Ko, Youme | Cheshire, Anna | Ridge, Damien | Hughes, John | Peters, David | Panagioti, Maria | Simon, Chantal | Lewith, George | Cho, Hyun J. | Han, Dongwoon | Choi, Soo J. | Jung, Young S. | Im, Hyea B | Cooley, Kieran | Tummon-Simmons, Laura | Cotton, Sian | Luberto, Christina M. | Wasson, Rachel | Kraemer, Kristen | Sears, Richard | Hueber, Carly | Derk, Gwendolyn | Lill, JR | An, Ruopeng | Steinberg, Lois | Rodriguez, Lourdes Diaz | la Fuente, Francisca García-de | De la Vega, Miguel | Vargas-Román, Keyla | Fernández-Ruiz, Jonatan | Cantarero-Villanueva, Irene | Rodriguez, Lourdes Diaz | García-De la Fuente, Francisca | Jiménez-Guerrero, Fanny | Vargas-Román, Keyla | Fernández-Ruiz, Jonatan | Galiano-Castillo, Noelia | Diaz-Saez, Gualberto | Torres-Jimenez, José I. | Garcia-Gomez, Olga | Hortal-Muñoz, Luis | Diaz-Diez, Camino | Dicen, Demijon | Diezel, Helene | Adams, Jon | Steel, Amie | Wardle, Jon | Diezel, Helene | Steel, Amie | Frawley, Jane | Wardle, Jon | Broom, Alex | Adams, Jon | Dong, Fei | Yu, He | Liu, Tiegang | Ma, Xueyan | Yan, Liyi | Wan, Yuxiang | Zheng, Zian | Gu, Xiaohong | Dong, Fei | Yu, He | Wu, Liqun | Liu, Tiegang | Ma, Xueyan | Ma, Jiaju | Yan, Liyi | Wan, Yuxiang | Zheng, Zian | Zhen, Jianhua | Gu, Xiaohong | Dubois, Julie | Rodondi, Pierre-Yves | Edelhäuser, Friedrich | Schwartze, Sophia | Trapp, Barbara | Cysarz, Dirk
doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1782-4
PMCID: PMC5498855
2.  A retrospective cost-analysis of additional homeopathic treatment in Germany: Long-term economic outcomes 
PLoS ONE  2017;12(9):e0182897.
Objectives
This study aimed to provide a long-term cost comparison of patients using additional homeopathic treatment (homeopathy group) with patients using usual care (control group) over an observation period of 33 months.
Methods
Health claims data from a large statutory health insurance company were analysed from both the societal perspective (primary outcome) and from the statutory health insurance perspective (secondary outcome). To compare costs between patient groups, homeopathy and control patients were matched in a 1:1 ratio using propensity scores. Predictor variables for the propensity scores included health care costs and both medical and demographic variables. Health care costs were analysed using an analysis of covariance, adjusted for baseline costs, between groups both across diagnoses and for specific diagnoses over a period of 33 months. Specific diagnoses included depression, migraine, allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and headache.
Results
Data from 21,939 patients in the homeopathy group (67.4% females) and 21,861 patients in the control group (67.2% females) were analysed. Health care costs over the 33 months were 12,414 EUR [95% CI 12,022–12,805] in the homeopathy group and 10,428 EUR [95% CI 10,036–10,820] in the control group (p<0.0001). The largest cost differences were attributed to productivity losses (homeopathy: EUR 6,289 [6,118–6,460]; control: EUR 5,498 [5,326–5,670], p<0.0001) and outpatient costs (homeopathy: EUR 1,794 [1,770–1,818]; control: EUR 1,438 [1,414–1,462], p<0.0001). Although the costs of the two groups converged over time, cost differences remained over the full 33 months. For all diagnoses, homeopathy patients generated higher costs than control patients.
Conclusion
The analysis showed that even when following-up over 33 months, there were still cost differences between groups, with higher costs in the homeopathy group.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0182897
PMCID: PMC5600367  PMID: 28915242
3.  To what extent are psychiatrists aware of the comorbid somatic illnesses of their patients with serious mental illnesses? – a cross-sectional secondary data analysis 
Background
Somatic comorbidities are a serious problem in patients with severe mental illnesses. These comorbidities often remain undiagnosed for a long time. In Germany, physicians are not allowed to access patients’ health insurance data and do not have routine access to documentation from other providers of health care. Against this background, the objective of this article was to investigate psychiatrists’ knowledge of relevant somatic comorbidities in their patients with severe mental illnesses.
Methods
Cross-sectional secondary data analysis was performed using primary data from a prospective study evaluating a model of integrated care of patients with serious mental illnesses. The primary data were linked with claims data from health insurers. Patients’ diagnoses were derived on the basis of the ICD-10 and the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system. Diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease (CAD), hyperlipidaemia, glaucoma, osteoporosis, polyarthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were selected for evaluation. We compared the number of diagnoses reported in the psychiatrists’ clinical report forms with those in the health insurance data.
Results
The study evaluated records from 1,195 patients with severe mental illnesses. The frequency of documentation of hypertension ranged from 21% in claims data to 4% in psychiatrists’ documentation, for COPD from 12 to 0%, respectively, and for diabetes from 7 to 2%, respectively. The percentage of diagnoses deduced from claims data but not documented by psychiatrists ranged from 68% for diabetes and 83% for hypertension, to 90% for CAD to 98% for COPD.
Conclusions
The majority of psychiatrists participating in the integrated care programme were insufficiently aware of the somatic comorbidities of their patients. We support allowing physicians to access patients’ entire medical records to increase their knowledge of patients’ medical histories and, consequently, to increase the safety and quality of care.
doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2106-6
PMCID: PMC5324277  PMID: 28231832
Mental disorders; Somatic comorbidity; Secondary data analysis; Claims data
4.  Cost-effectiveness of grass pollen SCIT compared with SLIT and symptomatic treatment 
Allergo Journal International  2016;26(1):7-15.
Background
Whereas specific immunotherapy (SIT) has already been shown to be cost-effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis compared with symptomatic treatment, only a small number of investigations have compared sublingual (SLIT) and subcutaneous (SCIT) immunotherapeutic approaches. This analysis discusses the cost-effectiveness of SCIT compared with SLIT and a symptomatic treatment modality. At the same time, particular attention is paid to preparation-specific characteristics.
Methods
The investigation is based on a previously published health economic model calculation. A Markov model, with predefined disease stages and a time period of 9 years, formed the basis of the analysis. The data on specific SCIT (Allergovit®) and SLIT (Oralair®) preparations required for the calculation were adjusted for the present analysis. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) based on symptom scores were calculated as the endpoint for effectiveness. Furthermore, the total costs and cost effectiveness of SCIT were determined. Model uncertainties were estimated by means of additional sensitivity analyses.
Results
With regard to effectiveness, both the SCIT and SLIT preparations proved superior compared to symptomatic treatment. Although more expensive, SIT seem to be cost-effective. A direct comparison of SCIT (Allergovit®) and SLIT (Oralair®) showed lower total costs for SCIT treatment over the study period (SCIT 1159 € versus SLIT 1322 €) and improved effectiveness (SCIT 7.112 QALYs versus SLIT 7.060 QALYs).
Discussion
SIT represents a cost-effective treatment option for patients with allergic rhinitis compared with symptomatic treatment. The comparison of SCIT (Allergovit®) and SLIT (Oralair®) showed SCIT to be predominant and cost-effective, due in particular to somewhat greater patient compliance and lower drug costs. It also became evident that, as far as possible, product-specific model variables are required for an economic evaluation of SIT treatment.
doi:10.1007/s40629-016-0002-y
PMCID: PMC5288417
Specific immunotherapy; Cost effectiveness; Allergic rhinitis; Model calculation
5.  Can Additional Homeopathic Treatment Save Costs? A Retrospective Cost-Analysis Based on 44500 Insured Persons 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0134657.
Objectives
The aim of this study was to compare the health care costs for patients using additional homeopathic treatment (homeopathy group) with the costs for those receiving usual care (control group).
Methods
Cost data provided by a large German statutory health insurance company were retrospectively analysed from the societal perspective (primary outcome) and from the statutory health insurance perspective. Patients in both groups were matched using a propensity score matching procedure based on socio-demographic variables as well as costs, number of hospital stays and sick leave days in the previous 12 months. Total cumulative costs over 18 months were compared between the groups with an analysis of covariance (adjusted for baseline costs) across diagnoses and for six specific diagnoses (depression, migraine, allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and headache).
Results
Data from 44,550 patients (67.3% females) were available for analysis. From the societal perspective, total costs after 18 months were higher in the homeopathy group (adj. mean: EUR 7,207.72 [95% CI 7,001.14–7,414.29]) than in the control group (EUR 5,857.56 [5,650.98–6,064.13]; p<0.0001) with the largest differences between groups for productivity loss (homeopathy EUR 3,698.00 [3,586.48–3,809.53] vs. control EUR 3,092.84 [2,981.31–3,204.37]) and outpatient care costs (homeopathy EUR 1,088.25 [1,073.90–1,102.59] vs. control EUR 867.87 [853.52–882.21]). Group differences decreased over time. For all diagnoses, costs were higher in the homeopathy group than in the control group, although this difference was not always statistically significant.
Conclusion
Compared with usual care, additional homeopathic treatment was associated with significantly higher costs. These analyses did not confirm previously observed cost savings resulting from the use of homeopathy in the health care system.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134657
PMCID: PMC4521756  PMID: 26230412
6.  Quality of Life in Patients with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator: A Systematic Review 
Despite the indisputable mortality advantages of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), no consensus exists regarding their impact on quality of life (QoL). This systematic review investigates differences in QoL between patients with ICDs and controls. We systematically searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, Web of Science, and PsychINFO databases. Articles were included if they were published after the year 2000 and reported on original studies with a control group. Five randomized controlled trials with a total of 5,138 patients and 10 observational studies with a total of 1,513 patients met the inclusion criteria. Nine studies found comparable QoL for ICD recipients and patients in the control groups, three studies found an increased QoL for ICD patients, and three studies found a decreased QoL for ICD patients. The question of whether QoL relates to ICD therapy cannot be answered conclusively due to the heterogeneity of the existing studies. Lower QoL was apparent among patients with an ICD who experienced several device discharges. Medical staff should be particularly aware of the signs of both psychological and physical disorders in these patients. Further investigations on QoL in ICD patients are desirable, but ethical reasons restrict the conduct of randomized trials.
doi:10.3389/fcvm.2015.00034
PMCID: PMC4671346  PMID: 26664905
implantable defibrillator; quality of life; life style; anxiety; depression
7.  Health economic evaluation of vaccination strategies for the prevention of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in Germany 
Background
Herpes zoster (HZ) is a self-limiting painful skin rash affecting mostly individuals from 50 years of age. The main complication is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a long-lasting pain after rash has resolved. A HZ-vaccine has recently been licensed in Europe for individuals older than 50 years. To support an informed decision-making for a potential vaccination recommendation, we conducted a health economic evaluation to identify the most cost-effective vaccination strategy.
Methods
We developed a static Markov-cohort model, which compared a vaccine-scenario with no vaccination. The cohort entering the model was 50 years of age, vaccinated at age 60, and stayed over life-time in the model. Transition probabilities were based on HZ/PHN-epidemiology and demographic data from Germany, as well as vaccine efficacy (VE) data from clinical trials. Costs for vaccination and HZ/PHN-treatment (in Euros; 2010), as well as outcomes were discounted equally with 3% p.a. We accounted results from both, payer and societal perspective. We calculated benefit-cost-ratio (BCR), number-needed-to-vaccinate (NNV), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for costs per HZ-case avoided, per PHN-case avoided, and per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. Different target age-groups were compared to identify the most cost-effective vaccination strategy. Base-case-analysis as well as structural, descriptive-, and probabilistic-sensitivity-analyses (DSA, PSA) were performed.
Results
When vaccinating 20% of a cohort of 1 million 50 year old individuals at the age of 60 years, approximately 20,000 HZ-cases will be avoided over life-time. The NNV to avoid one HZ (PHN)-case was 10 (144). However, with a BCR of 0.34 this vaccination-strategy did not save costs. The base-case-analysis yielded an ICER of 1,419 (20,809) Euros per avoided HZ (PHN)-case and 28,146 Euros per QALY gained. Vaccination at the age of 60 was identified in most (sensitivity) analyses to be the most cost-effective vaccination strategy. In DSA, vaccine price and VE were shown to be the most critical input-data.
Conclusions
According to our evaluation, HZ-vaccination is expected to avoid HZ/PHN-cases and gain QALYs to higher costs. However, the vaccine price had the highest impact on the ICERs. Among different scenarios, targeting individuals aged 60 years seems to represent the most cost-effective vaccination-strategy.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-359
PMCID: PMC3849436  PMID: 24070414
Herpes zoster; Postherpetic neuralgia; Vaccine; Cost-effectiveness; QALY; Markov
8.  Influence of subcutaneous specific immunotherapy on drug costs in children suffering from allergic asthma 
Background
Subcutaneous specific immunotherapy (SCIT) is an effective treatment attenuating the progression of allergic asthma. To date, there is a lack of studies investigating the economic consequences of SCIT on health care expenditures.
Methods
A health-economic piggy-back analysis of SCIT was conducted based on a RCT that enrolled 65 children and adolescents with allergic asthma. Patients were allocated into two groups: A group receiving SCIT with a high-dose hypoallergenic house dust mite preparation plus asthma medication and a control group receiving only asthma medication. For both groups asthma control was achieved before the start of the SCIT treatment and was maintained during the study. Both, costs and cost-effectiveness of SCIT with the high-dose hypoallergenic house dust mite preparation were investigated based on total medication costs, incremental medication costs and treatment effects (measured as lung function), respectively. A bootstrap analysis was performed to validate the results.
Results
A steady decline in medication costs could be observed in the SCIT group one year after treatment start compared to the control group. This cost trend became statistically significant 3 years after SCIT started. The calculated potential savings in the SCIT group correlated with an improved lung function. The distribution of the bootstrap results revealed that the probability of SCIT having a superior effectiveness compared to the control group is around 90%.
Conclusion
SCIT with a high-dose hypoallergenic preparation received by children and adolescents suffering from mite induced allergic asthma reduces the allergic medication intake and has cost-saving effects. Additional costs associated with SCIT may be completely compensated by drug cost savings 4 years after end of SCIT. Additionally, SCIT is superior compared to routine care as measured by the lung function that improved in SCIT-treated patients. Trial registration: (EudraCT no. 2004 – 003892 – 35).
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-30
PMCID: PMC3868309  PMID: 24004637
Asthma; Cost-effectiveness analysis; Subcutaneous specific immunotherapy; High-dose hypoallergenic mite preparation
9.  Critical Limb Ischemia and Its Impact on Patient Health Preferences and Quality of Life—An International Study 
Critical limb ischemia (CLI) has a significant impact on patients' quality of life (QoL). Despite cost utility evaluations being required by different authorities, data on patient health preferences and utilities for CLI are scarce. Hence, the objective of this study was to assess the impact of CLI on health preferences and health status of affected patients, and to generate health state utilities. In the International Study, 200 patients with CLI (stages III and IV according to Fontaine scale) were interviewed by trained interviewers with a discrete choice instrument, a standard gamble (SG), and the EuroQol-five dimension (EQ-5D) questionnaires (Marten Meesweg, Rotterdam, Netherland). Conjoint analysis showed that a planned amputation (33%) was the most relevant health attribute followed by ambulatory function (25%) and chronic pain (15%). Non-dependence on caregiver impacted on patient health state preference considerably, whereas healing of ulcer/skin lesions had less impact. Preference values obtained from the SG were 0.84, for an amputation subpopulation arriving at 0.70. The EQ-5D index values as well as the EQ-5D visual analog scale for patients with CLI were 0.56. The QoL data of patients with CLI result in decreased QoL and preference values with a planned amputation.
doi:10.1055/s-0032-1324738
PMCID: PMC3578621  PMID: 23997557
critical limb ischemia; peripheral artery disease; quality of life; utility; discrete choice model
10.  Comparative Effectiveness of Homoeopathic vs. Conventional Therapy in Usual Care of Atopic Eczema in Children: Long-Term Medical and Economic Outcomes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54973.
Background
One in five children visiting a homeopathic physician suffers from atopic eczema.
Objectives
We aimed to examine the long-term effectiveness, safety and costs of homoeopathic vs. conventional treatment in usual medical care of children with atopic eczema.
Methods
In this prospective multi-centre comparative observational non-randomized rater-blinded study, 135 children (48 homoeopathy, 87 conventional) with mild to moderate atopic eczema were included by their respective physicians. Depending on the specialisation of the physician, the primary treatment was either standard conventional treatment or individualized homeopathy as delivered in routine medical care. The main outcome was the SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) at 36 months by a blinded rater. Further outcomes included quality of life, conventional medicine consumption, safety and disease related costs at six, 12 and 36 months after baseline. A multilevel ANCOVA was used, with physician as random effect and the following fixed effects: age, gender, baseline value, severity score, social class and parents’ expectation.
Results
The adjusted mean SCORAD showed no significant differences between the groups at 36 months (13.7 95% CI [7.9–19.5] vs. 14.9 [10.4–19.4], p = 0.741). The SCORAD response rates at 36 months were similar in both groups (33% response: homoeopathic 63.9% vs. conventional 64.5%, p = 0.94; 50% response: 52.0% vs. 52.3%, p = 0.974). Total costs were higher in the homoeopathic versus the conventional group (months 31–36 200.54 Euro [132.33–268.76] vs. 68.86 Euro [9.13–128.58], p = 0.005).
Conclusions
Taking patient preferences into account, while being unable to rule out residual confounding, in this long-term observational study, the effects of homoeopathic treatment were not superior to conventional treatment for children with mild to moderate atopic eczema, but involved higher costs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054973
PMCID: PMC3561412  PMID: 23383019
11.  Process mapping of PTA and stent placement in a university hospital interventional radiology department 
Insights into Imaging  2012;3(4):329-336.
Objective
To apply the process mapping technique in an interdisciplinary approach in order to visualize, better understand, and efficiently organize percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and stent placement procedures in a university hospital’s interventional radiology department.
Methods
After providing an overview of seven established mapping techniques for medical professionals, the process mapping technique was chosen and applied in an interdisciplinary approach including referrers (physicians, nurses, and other staff in referring departments, e.g., vascular surgery), providers (interventional radiologists, nurses, technicians, and staff of the angiography suite), and specialists of the hospital’s controlling department.
Results
A generally binding and standardized process map was created, describing the entire procedure for a patient in whom the radiological intervention of PTA or stent treatment is contemplated from admission to the department of vascular surgery until discharge after successful treatment. This visualization tool assists in better understanding (especially given natural staff fluctuation over time) and efficiently organizing PTA and stent procedures.
Conclusion
Process mapping can be applied for streamlining workflow in healthcare, especially in interdisciplinary settings. By defining exactly what a business entity does, who is responsible, to what standard a process should be completed, and how the success can be assessed, this technique can be used to eliminate waste and inefficiencies from the workplace while providing high-quality goods and services easily, quickly, and inexpensively.
Main Messages
• Process mapping can be used in a university hospital’s interventional radiology department.
• Process mapping can describe the patient’s entire process from admission to PTA/stent placement until discharge.
• Process mapping can be used in interdisciplinary teams (e.g., referrers, providers, and controlling specialists).
• Process mapping can be used in order to more efficiently organize PTA and stent placement procedures.
• Process mapping can assist in better understanding and efficiently organizing procedures in standardized fashion.
doi:10.1007/s13244-012-0147-2
PMCID: PMC3481077  PMID: 22695945
Interventional; Health policy and practice; Decision analysis; Quality management; Process control
12.  Herpes zoster in Germany: Quantifying the burden of disease 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:173.
Background
Herpes zoster (HZ) is caused by a reactivation of the varicella-zoster-virus (VZV) and mainly affects individuals aged ≥ 50 years. Vaccines have been licensed or are under development that can protect against HZ and its main complication postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). In Germany, the burden of disease caused by HZ is not well known. To support the decision making process related to a potential vaccination recommendation, we estimated annual HZ disease burden in people aged ≥ 50 years in Germany by utilizing various data sources.
Methods
We assessed for 2007 and 2008 HZ-outpatient incidence (number of cases per 1,000 person-years, PY) by utilizing the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (ASHIP) database, which contains nationwide routine outpatient data. For the same time period annual number of HZ-inpatients and HZ-associated deaths were identified by using the Federal Health Monitoring System (FHM). PHN-incidence and loss of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) caused by HZ were calculated by multiplying number of identified HZ-patients with upper and lower limit estimates for proportion of HZ-cases developing PHN and HZ-related QALY, respectively.
Results
For the study period we identified an annual average of 306,511 HZ-outpatients aged 50+, resulting in a HZ-incidence of 9.6/1,000 PY. A total 14,249 HZ-associated inpatients and 66 deaths were reported in both years on average. HZ-incidence increased by age from 6.21 in people 50-54 years to 13.19 per 1,000 PY in people aged ≥ 90 years. Females were significantly more frequently affected than males in terms of outpatient HZ-incidence (11.12 vs. 7.8 per 1,000 PY), inpatient HZ-incidence (0.51 vs. 0.38 per 1,000 PY) and mortality (0.29 vs. 0.10 per 100,000 PY). PHN-incidence was estimated to range between 0.43 and 1.33 per 1,000 PY. Based on these figures, there were between 3,065 to 24,094 QALYs lost due to HZ in persons aged ≥ 50 years in Germany per annum.
Conclusion
Our study provides important baseline estimates for HZ-related disease burden in Germany. HZ poses a considerable burden on the health care system in Germany both in terms of outpatient and inpatient services. Follow-up assessments of HZ disease burden are needed to monitor the impact of VZV-vaccinations in Germany.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-173
PMCID: PMC3141411  PMID: 21679419
13.  Promotion of Physical Activity Using Point-of-Decision Prompts in Berlin Underground Stations 
To evaluate point-of-decision prompts in the promotion of stair use in Germany, motivational posters were placed at three underground stations in Berlin. The proportion of passengers using stairs or stairways was counted before, during installation, and two weeks after removal of posters. In total, 5,467 passersby were counted. Stair use increased significantly in women, but not in men. The present pilot study thereby shows that the use of point-of-decision prompts is also feasible in Germany and it provides some evidence of effectiveness. Methodologically rigorous studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
doi:10.3390/ijerph7083063
PMCID: PMC2954568  PMID: 20948947
prevention; health promotion; physical activity; point-of-decision prompts
14.  Obesity prevalence from a European perspective: a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:200.
Background
Obesity has been recognised as an important contributing factor in the development of various diseases, but comparative data on this condition are limited. We therefore aimed to identify and discuss current epidemiological data on the prevalence of obesity in European countries.
Methods
We identified relevant published studies by means of a MEDLINE search (1990–2008) supplemented by information obtained from regulatory agencies. We only included surveys that used direct measures of weight and height and were representative of each country's overall population.
Results
In Europe, the prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) in men ranged from 4.0% to 28.3% and in women from 6.2% to 36.5%. We observed considerable geographic variation, with prevalence rates in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe being higher than those in Western and Northern Europe.
Conclusion
In Europe, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The data presented in our review emphasise the need for effective therapeutic and preventive strategies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-200
PMCID: PMC2441615  PMID: 18533989

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