Economic evaluation of nurse practitioners versus GPs in treating common conditions

Angelique T. M. Dierick-van Daele*, L. M. G. Steuten, C. Spreeuwenberg, J. F. M. Metsemakers, H. J. M. Vrijhoef, Emmy W. C. C. Derckx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background As studies evaluating substitution of care have revealed only limited evidence on cost-effectiveness, a trial was conducted to evaluate nurse practitioners as a first point of contact in Dutch general practices. Aim To estimate costs of GP versus nurse practitioner consultations from practice and societal perspectives. Design of study An economic evaluation was conducted alongside a randomised controlled trial between May and October 2006, wherein 12 nurse practitioners and 50 GPs working in 15 general practices (study practices) participated. Consultations by study practices were also compared with an external reference group, with 17 GPs working in five general practices without the involvement of nurse practitioners. Method Direct costs within the healthcare sector included resource use, follow-up consultations, length of consultations, and salary costs. Costs outside the healthcare sector were productivity losses. Sensitivity analyses were performed. Results Direct costs were lower for nurse practitioner consultations than for GP consultations at study practices. This was also the case for direct costs plus costs from a societal perspective for patients aged
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e28-e35
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number570
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • general practitioner
  • cost analysis
  • nurse practitioner
  • randomised controlled trial

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