Objectives: The guided self-help exercise program called In Tune without Cords (ITwC) is effective in improving swallowing problems and communication among patients treated with a total laryngectomy (TL). This study investigated the cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of ITwC.
Materials and methods: Patients within 5 years after TL were included in this randomized controlled trial. Patients in the intervention group (n = 46) received access to the self-help exercise program with flexibility, range-of-motion and lymphedema exercises, and a self-care education program. Patients in the control group (n = 46) received access to the self-care education program only. Healthcare utilization (iMCQ), productivity losses (iPCQ), health status (EQ-5D-3L, EORTC QLU-C10D) and swallowing problems (SwalQol) were measured at baseline, 3- and 6-months follow-up. Hospital costs were extracted from medical files. Mean total costs and effects (quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) or SwalQol score) were compared with regression analyses using bias-corrected accelerated bootstrapping.
Results: Mean total costs were non-significantly lower (-€685) and QALYs were significantly higher (+0.06) in the intervention compared to the control group. The probability that the intervention is less costly and more effective was 73%. Sensitivity analyses with adjustment for baseline costs and EQ-5D scores showed non-significantly higher costs (+€119 to +€364) and QALYs (+0.02 to +0.03). A sensitivity analysis using the QLU-C10D to calculate QALYs showed higher costs (+€741) and lower QALYs (-0.01) and an analysis that used the SwalQol showed higher costs (+€232) and higher effects (improvement of 6 points on a 0–100 scale).
Conclusion: ITwC is likely to be effective, but possibly at higher expenses. Trial Registration: NTR5255.
|Early online date||24 Apr 2021|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by grants from the Michel Keijzer Fund. The Michel Keijzer Fund had no role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.
© 2021 The Authors