International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care


Cost-effectiveness of a supplementary class-based exercise program in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis

Gerry Richardson a1, Neil Hawkins a1, Christopher James McCarthy a2, Pauline Mary Mills a2, Rachel Pullen a2, Christopher Roberts a2, Alan Silman a2 and Jacqueline Ann Oldham a2
a1 University of York
a2 University of Manchester


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of a class-based exercise program supplementing a home-based program when compared with a home-based program alone. In addition, we estimated the probability that the supplementary class program is cost-effective over a range of values of a decision maker's willingness to pay for an additional quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).

Methods: The resource use and effectiveness data were collected as part of the clinical trial detailed elsewhere. Unit costs were estimated from published sources. The net benefit approach to cost-effectiveness analysis is used to estimate the probability of the intervention being cost-effective.

Results: The addition of a supplementary class-based group results in an increase in QALYs and lower costs. For all plausible values of a decision maker's willingness to pay for a QALY, the supplementary class group is likely to be cost-effective.

Conclusions: The addition of a class-based exercise program is likely to be cost-effective and, on current evidence, should be implemented.

Key Words: Cost-effectiveness; QALY; Osteoarthritis; Exercise program.