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Cost effectiveness of chest pain unit care in the NHS

Oluboyede, Y., Goodacre, S. and Wailoo, A. (2008) Cost effectiveness of chest pain unit care in the NHS. BMC Health Services Research, 8 (1). p. 174. ISSN 1472-6963

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Acute chest pain is responsible for approximately 700,000 patient attendances per year at emergency departments in England and Wales. A single centre study of selected patients suggested that chest pain unit (CPU) care could be less costly and more effective than routine care for these patients, although a more recent multi-centre study cast doubt on the generalisability of these findings.


Our economic evaluation involved modelling data from the ESCAPE multi-centre trial along with data from other sources to estimate the comparative costs and effects of CPU versus routine care. Cost effectiveness ratios (cost per QALY) were generated from our model.


We found that CPU compared to routine care resulted in a non-significant increase in effectiveness of 0.0075 QALYs per patient and a non-significant cost decrease of £32 per patient and thus a negative incremental cost effectiveness ratio. If we are willing to pay £20,000 for an additional QALY then there is a 70% probability that CPU care will be considered cost-effective.


Our analysis shows that CPU care is likely to be slightly more effective and less expensive than routine care, however, these estimates are surrounded by a substantial amount of uncertainty. We cannot reliably conclude that establishing CPU care will represent a cost-effective use of health service resources given the substantial amount of investment it would require.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sheffield Import
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2009 15:48
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2009 15:48
Published Version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/8/174
Status: Published
Publisher: Biomed Central
Identification Number: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-174
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9719

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