Enabling people with dementia and carers to ‘live well’ with the condition is a key United Kingdom policy objective. The aim of this project is to identify what helps people to live well or makes it difficult to live well in the context of having dementia or caring for a person with dementia, and to understand what ‘living well’ means from the perspective of people with dementia and carers.
Over a two-year period, 1500 people with early-stage dementia throughout Great Britain will be recruited to the study, together with a carer wherever possible. All the participants will be visited at home initially and again 12 months and 24 months later. This will provide information about the way in which well-being, life satisfaction and quality of life are affected by social capitals, assets and resources, the challenges posed by dementia, and the ways in which people adjust to and cope with these challenges. A smaller group will be interviewed in more depth.
The findings will lead to recommendations about what can be done by individuals, communities, health and social care practitioners, care providers and policy-makers to improve the likelihood of living well with dementia.
Quality of life; Life satisfaction; Well-being; Person with dementia; Carer; Alzheimer’s disease; Vascular dementia; Fronto-temporal dementia; Parkinson’s disease dementia; Lewy body dementia
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-recommended pharmacologic treatments (RPTs; pregabalin, duloxetine, and milnacipran) are effective treatment options for fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome and are currently recommended by clinical guidelines. We compared the cost-utility from the healthcare and societal perspectives of CBT versus RPT (combination of pregabalin + duloxetine) and usual care (TAU) groups in the treatment of FM.
The economic evaluation was conducted alongside a 6-month, multicenter, randomized, blinded, parallel group, controlled trial. In total, 168 FM patients from 41 general practices in Zaragoza (Spain) were randomized to CBT (n = 57), RPT (n = 56), or TAU (n = 55). The main outcome measures were Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs, assessed by using the EuroQoL-5D questionnaire) and improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQoL, assessed by using EuroQoL-5D visual analogue scale, EQ-VAS). The costs of healthcare use were estimated from patient self-reports (Client Service Receipt Inventory). Cost-utility was assessed by using the net-benefit approach and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs).
On average, the total costs per patient in the CBT group (1,847€) were significantly lower than those in patients receiving RPT (3,664€) or TAU (3,124€). Patients receiving CBT reported a higher quality of life (QALYs and EQ-VAS scores); the differences between groups were significant only for EQ-VAS. From a complete case-analysis approach (base case), the point estimates of the cost-effectiveness ratios resulted in dominance for the CBT group in all of the comparisons performed, by using both QALYs and EQ-VAS as outcomes. These findings were confirmed by bootstrap analyses, net-benefit curves, and CEACs. Two additional sensitivity analyses (intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis) indicated that the results were robust. The comparison of RPT with TAU yielded no clear preference for either treatment when using QALYs, although RPT was determined to be more cost-effective than TAU when evaluating EQ-VAS.
Because of lower costs, CBT is the most cost-effective treatment for adult FM patients. Implementation in routine medical care would require policymakers to develop more-widespread public access to trained and experienced therapists in group-based forms of CBT.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN10804772. Registered 29 September 2008.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0451-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
People with dementia living in care homes often have complex mental health problems, disabilities and social needs. Providing more comprehensive training for staff working in care home environments is a high national priority. It is important that this training is evidence based and delivers improvement for people with dementia residing in these environments. Well-being and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) combines the most effective elements of existing approaches to develop a comprehensive but practical staff training intervention. This optimised intervention is based on a factorial study and qualitative evaluation, to combine: training on person-centred care, promoting person-centred activities and interactions, and providing care home staff and general practitioners with updated knowledge regarding the optimal use of psychotropic medications for persons with dementia in care homes.
The trial will be a randomised controlled two-arm cluster single blind trial that will take place for nine months across 80 care homes in the United Kingdom.
The overarching goal of this trial is to determine whether this optimised WHELD intervention is more effective in improving the quality of life and mental health than the usual care provided to people with dementia living in nursing homes. This study will be the largest and best powered randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the benefits of an augmented person-centred care training intervention in care homes worldwide.
Current controlled trials ISRCTN62237498
Date registered: 5 September 2013
Dementia care homes; Quality of life; Antipsychotic medication; Behavioural symptoms; Cost effectiveness; Implementation; Person-centred care; Social interaction
Purpose of the study: to examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of ‘second-generation’ telecare, in addition to standard support and care that could include ‘first-generation’ forms of telecare, compared with standard support and care that could include ‘first-generation’ forms of telecare.
Design and methods: a pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial with nested economic evaluation. A total of 2,600 people with social care needs participated in a trial of community-based telecare in three English local authority areas. In the Whole Systems Demonstrator Telecare Questionnaire Study, 550 participants were randomised to intervention and 639 to control. Participants who were offered the telecare intervention received a package of equipment and monitoring services for 12 months, additional to their standard health and social care services. The control group received usual health and social care.
Primary outcome measure: incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. The analyses took a health and social care perspective.
Results: cost per additional QALY was £297,000. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves indicated that the probability of cost-effectiveness at a willingness-to-pay of £30,000 per QALY gained was only 16%. Sensitivity analyses combining variations in equipment price and support cost parameters yielded a cost-effectiveness ratio of £161,000 per QALY.
Implications: while QALY gain in the intervention group was similar to that for controls, social and health services costs were higher. Second-generation telecare did not appear to be a cost-effective addition to usual care, assuming a commonly accepted willingness to pay for QALYs.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN 43002091.
telecare; economic evaluation; social care; older people
The gap in Kenya between need and treatment for mental disorders is wide, and private providers are increasingly offering services, funded in part by private health insurance (PHI). Chiromo, a 30-bed psychiatric hospital in Nairobi, forms part of one of the largest private psychiatric providers in East Africa.
The study evaluated the effects of insurance on service use and charge, questioning implications on access to care. Data derive from invoices for 455 sequential patients, including 12-month follow-up. Multi-linear and binary logistic regressions explored the effect of PHI on readmission, cumulative length of stay, and treatment charge.
Patients were 66.4% male with a mean age of 36.8 years. Half were employed in the formal sector. 70% were admitted involuntarily. Diagnoses were: substance use disorder 31.6%; serious mental disorder 49.5%; common mental disorder 7%; comorbid 7%; other 4.9%. In addition to daily psychiatric consultations, two-thirds received individual counselling or group therapy; half received lab tests or scans; and 16.2% received ECT. Most took a psychiatric medicine. Half of those on antipsychotics were given only brands.
Insurance paid in full for 28.8% of patients. Mean length of stay was 11.8 days and, in 12 months, 16.7 days (median 10.6). 22.2% were readmitted within 12 months. Patients with PHI stayed 36% longer than those paying out-of-pocket and had 2.5 times higher odds of readmission. Mean annual charge per patient was Int$ 4,262 (median Int$ 2,821). Insurers were charged 71% more than those paying out-of-pocket - driven by higher fees and longer stays.
Chiromo delivers acute psychiatric care each year to approximately 450 people, to quality and human rights standards higher than its public counterpart, but at considerably higher cost. With more efficient delivery and wider insurance coverage, Chiromo might expand from its occupancy of 56.6% to reach a larger population in need.
Depression is experienced by a large proportion of the workforce and associated with high costs to employers and employees. There is little research on how the social costs of depression vary by social and cultural context. This study investigates individual, workplace and societal factors associated with greater perceived discomfort regarding depression in the workplace, greater likelihood of employees taking time off of work as a result of depression and greater likelihood of disclosure of depression to one's employer.
Employees and managers (n = 7,065) were recruited from seven European countries to participate in the IDEA survey. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations between individual characteristics and country contextual characteristics in relation to workplace perceptions, likelihood of taking time off work and disclosing depression to an employer.
Our findings suggest that structural factors such as benefit systems and flexible working hours are important for understanding workplace perceptions and consequences for employees with depression. However, manager responses that focus on offering help to the employee with depression appear to have stronger associations with positive perceptions in the workplace, and also with openness and disclosure by employees with depression.
This study highlights the importance of individual, workplace and societal factors that may be associated with how people with depression are perceived and treated in the workplace, and, hence, factors that may be associated with openness and disclosure among employees with depression. Some responses, such as flexible working hours, may be helpful but are not necessarily sufficient, and our findings also emphasise the importance of support and openness of managers in addition to flexible working hours.
Assistive technology and telecare (ATT) are relatively new ways of delivering care and support to people with social care needs. It is claimed that ATT reduces the need for community care, prevents unnecessary hospital admission, and delays or prevents admission into residential or nursing care. The current economic situation in England has renewed interest in ATT instead of community care packages. However, at present, the evidence base to support claims about the impact and effectiveness of ATT is limited, despite its potential to mitigate the high financial cost of caring for people with dementia and the social and psychological cost to unpaid carers.
ATTILA (Assistive Technology and Telecare to maintain Independent Living At Home for People with Dementia) is a pragmatic, multi-centre, randomised controlled trial over 104 weeks that compares outcomes for people with dementia who receive ATT and those who receive equivalent community services but not ATT. The study hypothesis is that fewer people in the ATT group will go into institutional care over the 4-year period for which the study is funded. The study aims to recruit 500 participants, living in community settings, with dementia or significant cognitive impairment, who have recently been referred to social services.
Primary outcome measures are time in days from randomisation to institutionalisation and cost effectiveness. Secondary outcomes are caregiver burden, health-related quality of life in carers, number and severity of serious adverse events, and data on acceptability, applicability and reliability of ATT intervention packages. Assessments will be undertaken in weeks 0 (baseline), 12, 24, 52 and 104 or until institutionalisation or withdrawal of the participant from the trial.
In a time of financial austerity, CASSRs in England are increasingly turning to ATT in the belief that it will deliver good outcomes for less money. There is an absence of robust evidence for the cost-effectiveness and benefit of using assistive technology and telecare. The ATTILA trial meets a pressing need for robust, generalisable evidence to either justify continuing investment or reappraise the appropriate scale of ATT use.
Current Controlled Trials
Assistive technology; Telecare; Dementia; Randomised control trial; Independence; Community living
A period of economic recession may be particularly difficult for people with mental health problems as they may be at higher risk of losing their jobs, and more competitive labour markets can also make it more difficult to find a new job. This study assesses unemployment rates among individuals with mental health problems before and during the current economic recession.
Using individual and aggregate level data collected from 27 EU countries in the Eurobarometer surveys of 2006 and 2010, we examined changes in unemployment rates over this period among individuals with and without mental health problems.
Following the onset of the recession, the gap in unemployment rates between individuals with and without mental health problems significantly widened (odds ratio: 1.12, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 1.34). This disparity became even greater for males, and individuals with low levels of education. Individuals with mental health problems living in countries with higher levels of stigmatizing attitudes regarding dangerousness of people with mental illness were more vulnerable to unemployment in 2010, but not 2006. Greater agreement that people with mental health problems have themselves to blame, was associated with lower likelihood of unemployment for individuals with and without mental health problems.
These findings study suggest that times of economic hardship may intensify social exclusion of people with mental health problems, especially males and individuals with lower education. Interventions to combat economic exclusion and to promote social participation of individuals with mental health problems are even more important during times of economic crisis, and these efforts should target support to the most vulnerable groups.
Schizophrenia is a disorder that produces considerable burdens due to its often relapsing/remitting or chronic longitudinal course. This burden is felt not only by patients themselves, but also by their families and health care systems. Although the societal burden caused by this disorder has been evaluated in several countries, the magnitude of the societal cost of schizophrenia in Japan has never been estimated. The aim of this study is to clarify the societal burden of schizophrenia by estimating the cost of schizophrenia in Japan in 2008.
A human capital approach was adopted to estimate the cost of schizophrenia. The total cost of schizophrenia was calculated as the sum of the direct, morbidity, and mortality costs. Schizophrenia was defined as disorders coded as F20.0–F20.9 according to the International Classification of Diseases-10. The data required to estimate the total cost was collected from publicly available statistics or previously reported studies.
The total cost of schizophrenia in Japan in 2008 was JPY 2.77 trillion (USD 23.8 billion). While the direct cost was JPY 0.770 trillion (USD 6.59 billion), the morbidity and mortality costs were JPY 1.85 trillion (USD 15.8 billion) and JPY 0.155 trillion (USD 1.33 billion), respectively.
The societal burden caused by schizophrenia is tremendous in Japan, similar to that in other developed countries where published data exist. Compared with other disorders, such as depression or anxiety disorders, the direct cost accounted for a relatively high proportion of the total cost. Furthermore, absolute costs arising from unemployment were larger, while the prevalence rate was smaller, than the corresponding results for depression or anxiety in Japan.
cost of illness; schizophrenia; societal burden; cost analysis; societal cost
Preliminary evidence suggests that goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation (CR) may be a clinically effective intervention for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, vascular or mixed dementia and their carers. This study aims to establish whether CR is a clinically effective and cost-effective intervention for people with early-stage dementia and their carers.
In this multi-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial, 480 people with early-stage dementia, each with a carer, will be randomised to receive either treatment as usual or cognitive rehabilitation (10 therapy sessions over 3 months, followed by 4 maintenance sessions over 6 months). We will compare the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation with that of treatment as usual with regard to improving self-reported and carer-rated goal performance in areas identified as causing concern by people with early-stage dementia; improving quality of life, self-efficacy, mood and cognition of people with early-stage dementia; and reducing stress levels and ameliorating quality of life for carers of participants with early-stage dementia. The incremental cost-effectiveness of goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation compared to treatment as usual will also be examined.
If the study confirms the benefits and cost-effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation, it will be important to examine how the goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation approach can most effectively be integrated into routine health-care provision. Our aim is to provide training and develop materials to support the implementation of this approach following trial completion.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN21027481
Alzheimer’s disease; Vascular dementia; Mixed dementia; Re-ablement; Quality of life; Cost-effectiveness
Non-adherence to anti-psychotics is common, expensive and affects recovery. We therefore examine the cost-effectiveness of adherence therapy for people with schizophrenia by multi-centre randomised trial in Amsterdam, London, Leipzig and Verona.
Participants received 8 sessions of adherence therapy or health education. We measured lost productivity and use of health/social care, criminal justice system and informal care at baseline and one year to estimate and compare mean total costs from health/social care and societal perspectives. Outcomes were the Short Form 36 (SF-36) mental component score (MCS) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained (SF-36 and EuroQoL 5 dimension (EQ5D)). Cost-effectiveness was examined for all cost and outcome combinations using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs).
409 participants were recruited. There were no cost or outcome differences between adherence therapy and health education. The probability of adherence therapy being cost-effective compared to health education was between 0.3 and 0.6 for the six cost-outcome combinations at the willingness to pay thresholds we examined.
Adherence therapy appears equivalent to health education. It is unclear whether it would have performed differently against a treatment as usual control, whether such an intervention can impact on quality of life in the short-term, or whether it is likely to be cost-effective in some sites but not others.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials
Cost effectiveness; Quality-adjusted life year; Antipsychotic; Adherence; Schizophrenia; Psychological therapy
Objective: to assess the impact of telecare on the use of social and health care. Part of the evaluation of the Whole Systems Demonstrator trial.
Participants and setting: a total of 2,600 people with social care needs were recruited from 217 general practices in three areas in England.
Design: a cluster randomised trial comparing telecare with usual care, general practice being the unit of randomisation. Participants were followed up for 12 months and analyses were conducted as intention-to-treat.
Data sources: trial data were linked at the person level to administrative data sets on care funded at least in part by local authorities or the National Health Service.
Main outcome measures: the proportion of people admitted to hospital within 12 months. Secondary endpoints included mortality, rates of secondary care use (seven different metrics), contacts with general practitioners and practice nurses, proportion of people admitted to permanent residential or nursing care, weeks in domiciliary social care and notional costs.
Results: 46.8% of intervention participants were admitted to hospital, compared with 49.2% of controls. Unadjusted differences were not statistically significant (odds ratio: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.75–1.07, P = 0.211). They reached statistical significance after adjusting for baseline covariates, but this was not replicated when adjusting for the predictive risk score. Secondary metrics including impacts on social care use were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: telecare as implemented in the Whole Systems Demonstrator trial did not lead to significant reductions in service use, at least in terms of results assessed over 12 months.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN43002091.
telecare; assistive technology; randomised controlled trial; administrative data; older people
People living in care homes often have complex mental and physical health problems, disabilities and social needs which are compounded by the use of psychiatric and other drugs. In the UK dementia care is a national priority with a vast impact on services. WHELD combines the most effective elements of existing approaches to develop a comprehensive but practical intervention. This will be achieved by training care staff to provide care that is focused on an understanding of the individual and their needs; and by using additional components such as exercise, activities and social interaction to improve mental health and quality of life (QoL) and reduce the use of sedative drugs.
Work Package 3 (WP3) is the pilot randomised trial and qualitative evaluation to help develop a future definitive randomised controlled clinical trial. The study design is a cluster randomised 2x2x2 factorial design with two replications in 16 care homes. Each care home is randomized to receive one of the eight possible permutations of the four key interventions, with each possible combination delivered in two of the 16 homes. Each cluster includes a minimum of 12 participants (depending upon size of the care home, the number of people with dementia and the number consenting).
The overarching goal of the programme is to provide an effective, simple and practical intervention which improves the mental health of, and reduces sedative drug use in, people with dementia in care homes and which can be implemented nationally in all UK care homes as an NHS intervention.
Current controlled trials ISRCTN40313497
Dementia; Care homes; Quality of life; Antipsychotic medication; Behavioural symptoms; Cost-effectiveness; Implementation; Person-centred care; Exercise; Social interaction
To investigate organisational factors influencing the implementation challenges of redesigning services for people with long term conditions in three locations in England, using remote care (telehealth and telecare).
Case-studies of three sites forming the UK Department of Health’s Whole Systems Demonstrator (WSD) Programme. Qualitative research techniques were used to obtain data from various sources, including semi-structured interviews, observation of meetings over the course programme and prior to its launch, and document review. Participants were managers and practitioners involved in the implementation of remote care services.
The implementation of remote care was nested within a large pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT), which formed a core element of the WSD programme. To produce robust benefits evidence, many aspect of the trial design could not be easily adapted to local circumstances. While remote care was successfully rolled-out, wider implementation lessons and levels of organisational learning across the sites were hindered by the requirements of the RCT.
The implementation of a complex innovation such as remote care requires it to organically evolve, be responsive and adaptable to the local health and social care system, driven by support from front-line staff and management. This need for evolution was not always aligned with the imperative to gather robust benefits evidence. This tension needs to be resolved if government ambitions for the evidence-based scaling-up of remote care are to be realised.
Telecare; Telehealth; Whole system redesign; Organisational change; Adoption; Implementation; Ethnographic methods
Improving the quality of care for people with dementia and their carers has become a national priority in many countries. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) groups can be beneficial in improving cognition and quality of life for people with dementia. The aim of the current study is to develop and evaluate a home-based individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) programme for people with dementia which can be delivered by their family carer.
This multi-centre, pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT) will compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of iCST for people with dementia with a treatment as usual control group. The intervention consists of iCST sessions delivered by a carer for 30 minutes, 3 times a week over 25 weeks.
For people with dementia the primary outcome measures are cognition assessed by the ADAS-Cog, and quality of life assessed by QoL-AD. For carers, quality of life using the SF-12 is the primary outcome measure. Using a 5% significance level, comparison of 306 participants will yield 80% power to detect an effect size of 0.35 for cognition as measured by the ADAS-Cog, and quality of life as measured by the QoL-AD. Quality of life for the carer will be measured using the SF-12. The trial will include a cost-effectiveness analysis from a public sector perspective.
The UK Department of Health has recently stressed that improving access to psychological therapies is a national priority, but many people with dementia are unable to access psychological interventions. The development of a home-based individual version of CST will provide an easy to use, widely available therapy package that will be evaluated for effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in a multi centre RCT.
The PACE trial compared the effectiveness of adding adaptive pacing therapy (APT), cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), or graded exercise therapy (GET), to specialist medical care (SMC) for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. This paper reports the relative cost-effectiveness of these treatments in terms of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and improvements in fatigue and physical function.
Resource use was measured and costs calculated. Healthcare and societal costs (healthcare plus lost production and unpaid informal care) were combined with QALYs gained, and changes in fatigue and disability; incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were computed.
SMC patients had significantly lower healthcare costs than those receiving APT, CBT and GET. If society is willing to value a QALY at £30,000 there is a 62.7% likelihood that CBT is the most cost-effective therapy, a 26.8% likelihood that GET is most cost effective, 2.6% that APT is most cost-effective and 7.9% that SMC alone is most cost-effective. Compared to SMC alone, the incremental healthcare cost per QALY was £18,374 for CBT, £23,615 for GET and £55,235 for APT. From a societal perspective CBT has a 59.5% likelihood of being the most cost-effective, GET 34.8%, APT 0.2% and SMC alone 5.5%. CBT and GET dominated SMC, while APT had a cost per QALY of £127,047. ICERs using reductions in fatigue and disability as outcomes largely mirrored these findings.
Comparing the four treatments using a health care perspective, CBT had the greatest probability of being the most cost-effective followed by GET. APT had a lower probability of being the most cost-effective option than SMC alone. The relative cost-effectiveness was even greater from a societal perspective as additional cost savings due to reduced need for informal care were likely.
Telehealth (TH) and telecare (TC) interventions are increasingly valued for supporting self-care in ageing populations; however, evaluation studies often report high rates of non-participation that are not well understood. This paper reports from a qualitative study nested within a large randomised controlled trial in the UK: the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) project. It explores barriers to participation and adoption of TH and TC from the perspective of people who declined to participate or withdrew from the trial.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 people who declined to participate in the trial following explanations of the intervention (n = 19), or who withdrew from the intervention arm (n = 3). Participants were recruited from the four trial groups (with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, or social care needs); and all came from the three trial areas (Cornwall, Kent, east London). Observations of home visits where the trial and interventions were first explained were also conducted by shadowing 8 members of health and social care staff visiting 23 people at home. Field notes were made of observational visits and explored alongside interview transcripts to elicit key themes.
Barriers to adoption of TH and TC associated with non-participation and withdrawal from the trial were identified within the following themes: requirements for technical competence and operation of equipment; threats to identity, independence and self-care; expectations and experiences of disruption to services. Respondents held concerns that special skills were needed to operate equipment but these were often based on misunderstandings. Respondents’ views were often explained in terms of potential threats to identity associated with positive ageing and self-reliance, and views that interventions could undermine self-care and coping. Finally, participants were reluctant to risk potentially disruptive changes to existing services that were often highly valued.
These findings regarding perceptions of potential disruption of interventions to identity and services go beyond more common expectations that concerns about privacy and dislike of technology deter uptake. These insights have implications for health and social care staff indicating that more detailed information and time for discussion could be valuable especially on introduction. It seems especially important for potential recipients to have the opportunity to discuss their expectations and such views might usefully feed back into design and implementation.
Telehealth; Telecare; Patients’ perspectives; Non-adoption; Non-participation; Barriers; Qualitative research; Whole System Demonstrator
The Whole Systems Demonstrator pilots introduced telehealth and telecare into three local authority areas using an integrated approach to deliver health and social care to those with high care needs and long-term conditions. Proponents of these technologies have given cost savings as one rationale for advocating their introduction and widespread implementation; proponents have also advocated their potential to improve the quality of life for their users. Until recently, evaluations of telehealth and telecare in high-income countries have been based on relatively small-scale pilots; few such evaluations have been designed as randomised controlled trials. The WSD study was a pragmatic cluster-randomised control trial, representing the largest-scale trial of telehealth and telecare to be carried out in the UK. This presentation focuses on the results of the WSD telecare questionnaire study.
To examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of telecare compared to standard support and treatment.
Economic evaluation conducted in parallel with a pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial of Telecare. 2600 people with social care needs participated in a trial of a community-based telecare intervention in three English local authority areas. Approximately half of the participants in the telecare trial also consented to participate in the WSD telecare questionnaire study, which collected information on a number of patient-reported outcome measures and also on the self-reported use of a range of health and social services. Health and social costs were calculated by attaching nationally applicable unit costs to self-reported service use data. The unit costs of telecare support and treatment provided were calculated drawing on administrative and financial data sources and interviews with key informants. The primary outcome for the cost-effectiveness analysis was the quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Secondary outcomes included measures of health-related quality of life and well-being. We employed multivariate analyses to explore the cost-effectiveness of the intervention
The presentation will describe the results of the economic evaluation of telecare, addressing the cost of care and treatment packages used by those participating in the telecare questionnaire study and the results of the cost-effectiveness analysis. These results will be available by the time of the presentation.
These will be available by the time of the presentation.
economic evaluation; social care; cost analysis; telecare
There are widespread concerns around the accessibility of mainstream technology which remains underdeveloped for the needs of many older people 1. The Mainstreaming on Ambient Intelligence (MonAMI) project 2, funded under the EU FP6 framework in the area of e-Inclusion, developed an open technology platform and series of ‘telecare’ services designed to be accessed using mainstreamed devices (e.g. mobile telephones, personal computers). A field trial was conducted to evaluate the technology in the homes of disabled older people in three communities across Europe.
The primary aim of the MonAMI trial was to evaluate the acceptability and usefulness of the services in terms of whether they enable older people with needs to live independently and maintain a good quality of life. The secondary aim was to validate the technical and economic feasibility of delivering telecare services, using an open platform, in living community contexts.
The MonAMI system was evaluated in a three-month field trial in the cities of Kosice (Slovakia), Stockholm (Sweden) and Zaragoza (Spain). Trial participants (users) included people over 65 years, with a varying range of physical, cognitive and sensorial impairments. In each of the users’ homes a bouquet of alert, home monitoring and home control services were installed and configured to users’ individual needs and lifestyle. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were held at baseline and at post-trial follow-up, collecting data on users’ level of independence, health and wellbeing status, social networking, perceptions of safety, and acceptance of the services. Significance tests and regression analyses were performed to measure the impact of the services on users’ quality of life.
Sixty-eight users were recruited to the trial. The mean age was 78 years, 74% were women and 93% lived alone. Most users reported disabilities related to their legs and knees and the mean self-rated EQ5D-VAS3 health score was 63.8. In general, users with better self-rated independence 4 and health scores at baseline found the services more helpful compared to users with poorer ratings. However, specific analyses revealed the services had positive effects on perceptions of safety for users with a greater number of disabilities as compared to those with fewer disabilities (Odds ratio 2.51, p<0.05). Users with leg impairments conveyed feeling more energetic as compared to those without such impairments (Odds ratio 7.49, p<0.05); while users living alone confirmed that the services were helpful for their social networking5 as compared to users living with others (Odds ratio 2.49, p<0.1). Collectively, significantly more than 50% of users (70.6% p<0.001) rated the acceptability and usefulness of MonAMI services highly. Moreover many users stated that if possible, they would continue using the MonAMI system beyond the trial.
Overall, the trial results are promising; demonstrating that the MonAMI telecare services are beneficial for older people with needs. The trial also confirmed the potential of deploying and providing continuous services using MonAMI technology across diverse health and social care systems in Europe, lending support to MonAMI’s proof of concept of an open core platform approach for delivering care services.
telecare; older people; accessibility; disability; quality of life
In a foreword to Shaping the Future of Care Together, Prime Minister Gordon Brown says that a care and support system reflecting the needs of our times and meeting our rising aspirations is achievable, but ‘only if we are prepared to rise to the challenge of radical reform’. A number of initiatives will be needed to meet the challenge of improving social care for the growing older population. Before the unveiling of the green paper, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) announced that it has provided £15m over a five-year period to establish the NIHR School for Social Care Research. The School’s primary aim is to conduct or commission research that will help to improve adult social care practice in England. The School is seeking ideas for research topics, outline proposals for new studies and expert advice in developing research methods.
social care; research; England; National Institute for Health Research
Peer support interventions can improve carer wellbeing and interventions that engage both the carer and person with dementia can have significant mutual benefits. Existing research has been criticised for inadequate rigour of design or reporting. This paper describes the protocol for a complex trial that evaluates one-to-one peer support and a group reminiscence programme, both separately and together, in a factorial design.
A 2 × 2 factorial multi-site randomised controlled trial of individual peer support and group reminiscence interventions for family carers and people with dementia in community settings in England, addressing both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
The methods described in this protocol have implications for research into psychosocial interventions, particularly complex interventions seeking to test both individual and group approaches.
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and multiple system atrophy (MSA) are progressive disabling neurological conditions usually fatal within 10 years of onset. Little is known about the economic costs of these conditions. This paper reports service use and costs from France, Germany and the UK and identifies patient characteristics that are associated with cost. 767 patients were recruited, and 760 included in the study, from 44 centres as part of the NNIPPS trial. Service use during the previous six months was measured at entry to the study and costs calculated. Mean six-month costs were calculated for 742 patients. Data on patient sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were recorded and used in regression models to identify predictors of service costs and unpaid care costs (i.e., care from family and friends). The mean six-month service costs of PSP were €24,491 in France, €30,643 in Germany and €25,655 in the UK. The costs for MSA were €28,924, €25,645 and €19,103 respectively. Unpaid care accounted for 68–76%. Formal and unpaid costs were significantly higher the more severe the illness, as indicated by the Parkinson's Plus Symptom scale. There was a significant inverse relationship between service and unpaid care costs.
It is expected that increased demands on services will result from expanding numbers of older people with long-term conditions and social care needs. There is significant interest in the potential for technology to reduce utilisation of health services in these patient populations, including telecare (the remote, automatic and passive monitoring of changes in an individual's condition or lifestyle) and telehealth (the remote exchange of data between a patient and health care professional). The potential of telehealth and telecare technology to improve care and reduce costs is limited by a lack of rigorous evidence of actual impact.
We are conducting a large scale, multi-site study of the implementation, impact and acceptability of these new technologies. A major part of the evaluation is a cluster-randomised controlled trial of telehealth and telecare versus usual care in patients with long-term conditions or social care needs. The trial involves a number of outcomes, including health care utilisation and quality of life. We describe the broad evaluation and the methods of the cluster randomised trial
If telehealth and telecare technology proves effective, it will provide additional options for health services worldwide to deliver care for populations with high levels of need.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN43002091