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Open Access Research article

A cost-utility analysis of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up for injured road users

Carin Franzén12*, Ulf Björnstig3, Christine Brulin4 and Lars Lindholm5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nursing, Division of Surgery, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Division of Surgery, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

3 Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Division of Surgery, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

4 Department of Nursing, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

5 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

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BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:98  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-98

Published: 11 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Traffic injuries can cause physical, psychological, and economical impairment, and affected individuals may also experience shortcomings in their post-accident care and treatment. In an earlier randomised controlled study of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up, self-ratings of health-related quality of life were generally higher in the intervention group than in the control group.

Objective

To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up by examining costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).

Methods

A randomised controlled study was conducted between April 2003 and April 2005. Car occupants, cyclists, and pedestrians aged between 18 and 70 years and attending the Emergency Department of Umeå University Hospital in Sweden after an injury event in the traffic environment were randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 288) or control group (n = 280). The intervention group received routine care supplemented by nursing via telephone follow-up during half a year, while the control group received routine care only. Data were collected from a mail survey using the non-disease-specific health-related quality of life instrument EQ5D, and a cost-effectiveness analysis was performed including the costs of the intervention and the QALYs gained.

Results

Overall, the intervention group gained 2.60 QALYs (260 individuals with an average gain of 0.01 QALYs). The car occupants gained 1.54 QALYs (76 individuals, average of 0.02). Thus, the cost per QALY gained was 16 000 Swedish Crown (SEK) overall and 8 500 SEK for car occupants.

Conclusion

Nursing intervention by telephone follow-up after an injury event, is a cost effective method giving improved QALY to a very low cost, especially for those with minor injuries.

Trial registration

This trial registration number is: ISRCTN11746866.