Methods A Markov microsimulation model was developed to compare the costs and effectiveness of nine surgical interventions. The model was informed by undertaking a systematic review of clinical effectiveness and network meta-analysis. The main clinical parameters in the model were the cure and incidence rates of complications after different interventions. The outcomes from the model were expressed in terms of cost per quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. In addition, expected value of perfect information (EVPI) analyses were conducted to quantify the main uncertainties facing decision-makers.
Results The base-case results suggest that retropubic mid-urethral sling (retro-MUS) is the most cost-effective surgical intervention over a 10-year and lifetime time horizon. The probabilistic results show that retro-MUS and traditional sling are the interventions with the highest probability of being cost-effective across all willingness-to-pay thresholds over a lifetime time horizon. The value of information analysis results suggest that the largest value appears to be in removing uncertainty around the incidence rates of complications, the relative treatment effectiveness and health utility values.
Conclusions Although retro-MUS appears, at this stage, to be a cost-effective intervention, research is needed on possible long-term complications of all surgical treatments to provide reassurance of safety, or earlier warning of unanticipated adverse effects. The value of information analysis supports the need, as a first step, for further research to improve our knowledge of the actual incidence of complications.
- adult surgery
- health economics
- urinary incontinences