BACKGROUND: globally, falls and fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality in older people. In our ageing society healthcare costs are increasing, therefore programmes that reduce falls and are considered value for money are needed.
OBJECTIVE: to complete an economic evaluation of an e-Health balance exercise programme that reduced falls and injurious falls in community-dwelling older people compared to usual care from a health and community-care funder perspective.
DESIGN: a within-trial economic evaluation of an assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial with 2 years of follow-up.
SETTING: StandingTall was delivered via tablet-computer at home to older community-dwelling people in Sydney, Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: five hundred and three individuals aged 70+ years who were independent in activities of daily living, without cognitive impairment, progressive neurological disease or any other unstable or acute medical condition precluding exercise.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: cost-effectiveness was measured as the incremental cost per fall and per injurious fall prevented. Cost-utility was measured as the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.
MAIN RESULTS: the total average cost per patient for programme delivery and care resource cost was $8,321 (standard deviation [SD] 18,958) for intervention participants and $6,829 (SD 15,019) for control participants. The incremental cost per fall prevented was $4,785 and per injurious fall prevented was $6,585. The incremental cost per QALY gained was $58,039 (EQ5D-5L) and $110,698 (AQoL-6D).
CONCLUSION: this evaluation found that StandingTall has the potential to be cost-effective in specific subpopulations of older people, but not necessarily the whole older population.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12615000138583.
- older people
- home exercise
- physical activity