A recently study looked at the cost-effectiveness of a peer support intervention in type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes in primary care, are peer-support programmes cost effective?
Quality of life outcomes were assessed in a randomised trial while long term costs were derived from analysis of the UKPDS model.
The researchers randomly assigned 395 patients to a peer-support intervention or usual care.
The study reported a statistically non-significant improvement in quality of life for participants in the peer-support intervention. Further analysis of patient costs found a non-significant reduction in costs. Nevertheless, the researchers concluded:
The likelihood of the intervention being cost-effective was appreciably higher than 80 percent for a range of potential willingness-to-pay cost-effectiveness thresholds.
Whilst this study shows promise, more research is needed to reduce the uncertainty around the findings.
- Was the intervention adequately described in the paper? Is it feasible in other settings?
- Was randomisation carried out properly?
- Were the control and intevention groups similar at the start of the trial and treated equally throughout?
- Were patients analysed in the groups to which they were originally assigned?
- Blinding will be difficult in this study; did the researchers try to compensate for this by blinding outcomes assessors and analysts?
- Does the UKPDS provide an appropriate model of outcomes for your setting?
- Were both direct and indirect costs included?
Gillespie P, O’Shea E, Paul G, O’Dowd T, Smith SM. Cost effectiveness of peer support for type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 2012; 28(1): 3-11.