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Cost-effectiveness of memory assessment services for the diagnosis and early support of patients with dementia.

Gomes, Manuel, Pennington, Mark, Wittenberg, Raphael ORCID: 0000-0003-3096-2721, Knapp, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1427-0215, Black, Nick and Smith, Sarah (2017) Cost-effectiveness of memory assessment services for the diagnosis and early support of patients with dementia. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 22 (4). pp. 226-235. ISSN 1355-8196

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1355819617714816


Background Policy makers in England advocate referral of patients with suspected dementia to Memory Assessment Services (MAS) but it is unclear how any improvement in patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQL) compares with the associated costs. Aims To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of MAS for the diagnosis and follow-up care of patients with suspected dementia. Method We analysed observational data from 1318 patients referred to 69 MAS, and their lay carers (n=944), who completed resource use and HRQL questionnaires at baseline, three and six months. We reported mean differences in HRQL (disease-specific DEMQOL and generic EQ-5D-3L), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs between baseline and 6 months of referral to MAS. We also assessed cost-effectiveness of MAS across different patient subgroups and clinic characteristics. Results Referral to MAS was associated with gains in DEMQOL (mean gain 3.48, 95% confidence interval: 2.84 to 4.12), EQ-5D-3L (0.023, 0.008 to 0.038) and QALYs (0.006, 0.002 to 0.01). Mean total costs over six months, assuming a societal perspective, was £1,899 (£1277 to £2539). This yielded a negative incremental net monetary benefit, -£1724 (-£2388 to -£1085) assuming NICE’s recommended willingness-to-pay threshold (£30,000 per QALY). These base case results were relatively robust to alternative assumptions about costs and HRQL. There was some evidence that patients aged 80 or older benefitted more from referral to MAS (p<0.01 from adjusted mean differences in net benefits) compared to younger patients. MAS with over 75 new patients a month or cost per patient less than £2500 were relatively more cost-effective (p < 0.01) than MAS with fewer new montly patients or higher cost per patient, respectively. Conclusions Diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care provided by MAS to patients with suspected dementia appears to be effective, but not cost-effective over the first six months after diagnosis. Longer-term evidence is required before drawing conclusions about the cost-effectiveness of MAS.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 15:11
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:37

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