Protocol for the economic evaluation of the InTENSE program for rehabilitation of chronic upper limb spasticity

Rachel Milte, Julie Ratcliffe, Louise Ada, Coralie English, Maria Crotty, Natasha A. Lannin

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Background: Assessment of the costs of care associated with chronic upper-limb spasticity following stroke in Australia and the potential benefits of adding intensive upper limb rehabilitation to botulinum toxin-A are key objectives of the InTENSE randomised controlled trial. Methods: Recruitment for the trial has been completed. A total of 139 participants from 6 stroke units across 3 Australian states are participating in the trial. A cost utility analysis will be undertaken to compare resource use and costs over 12 months with health-related quality of life outcomes associated with the intervention relative to a usual care comparator. A cost effectiveness analysis with the main clinical measure of outcome, Goal Attainment Scaling, will also be undertaken. The primary outcome measure for the cost utility analysis will be the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) generated from the incremental cost of the intervention as compared to the incremental benefit, as measured in quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained. The utility scores generated from the EQ-5D three level instrument (EQ-5D-3 L) measured at baseline, 3 months and 12 months will be utilised to calculate the incremental Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gains for the intervention relative to usual care using area-under the curve methods. Discussion: The results of the economic evaluation will provide evidence of the total costs of care for patients with chronic upper limb spasticity following stroke. It will also provide evidence for the cost-effectiveness of adding evidence-based movement therapy to botulinum toxin-A as a treatment, providing important information for health system decision makers tasked with the planning and provision of services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number478
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020

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  • Botulinum toxin
  • Cost effectiveness analysis
  • Costs
  • Motor training
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Therapy


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