Economic evaluation of nurse-led intensive care follow-up programmes compared with standard care: the PRaCTICaL trial

R A Hernández, D Jenkinson, L Vale, B H Cuthbertson

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10 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Following intensive care discharge, many patients suffer severe physical and psychological morbidity and a continuing high use of health services. Follow-up programmes have been proposed to improve the outcomes for these patients. We tested the hypothesis that nurse-led intensive care follow-up programmes are cost-effective. METHODS: A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial of nurse-led intensive care unit follow-up programmes versus standard care. A cost-utility analysis was conducted after 12 months' follow-up to compare the two interventions. Costs were assessed from the perspective of the UK NHS and outcomes were measured in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) based upon responses to the EQ-5D administered at baseline, 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: A total of 286 patients were recruited to the trial. Total mean cost was £5,789 for standard care and £7,577 for the discharge clinic. The adjusted difference in means was £2,435 [95 % confidence interval (CI) -297 to 5,566]. Mean QALYs were 0.58 for standard care and 0.60 for the discharge clinic. The adjusted mean difference was -0.003 (95 % CI -0.066 to 0.060). If society were willing to pay £20,000 per QALY then there would be a 93 % chance that standard care would be considered most efficient. CONCLUSIONS: A nurse-led intensive care unit (ICU) follow-up programme showed no evidence of being cost-effective at 12 months. Further work should focus on evidence-based development of discharge clinic services and current ICU follow-up programmes should review their practice in light of these results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number3
Early online date28 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014



  • economic evaluation
  • critical care
  • rehabiltation
  • quality of life
  • cost-effectiveness
  • cost utility analysis
  • H51

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