International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care


Cost-effectiveness of self-management in asthma: A systematic review of peak flow monitoring interventions

Daniëlle C. M. Willems a1, Manuela A. Joore a1, Johannes J. E. Hendriks a1, Emiel F. M. Wouters a1 and Johan L. Severens a1
a1 University Hospital Maastricht

Article author query
willems dc   [Google Scholar] 
joore ma   [Google Scholar] 
hendriks jj   [Google Scholar] 
wouters ef   [Google Scholar] 
severens jl   [Google Scholar] 


Objectives: It is generally accepted that home peak flow monitoring increases patients' self-management and could lead to cost savings. The aim of this review was to analyze costs and the cost-effectiveness of self-management based on peak flow monitoring interventions in asthma.

Methods: Twenty-one studies were included in this review. Data were extracted, and methodological and economic quality were assessed. These studies presented economic information regarding self-management interventions based on peak flow monitoring in asthmatics. The mean methodological quality was 4.6 (maximum 8), and the mean economic quality was 12.0 (maximum 15).

Results: In eighteen studies, the interventions led to net savings compared with usual care or less intensive intervention. Only three studies found the total costs to be higher in the intervention group. In thirteen of the seventeen studies that analyzed health outcomes, at least one of the reported health outcomes improved statistically significantly after the intervention. However, the methods of economic evaluation differed among the studies and were not always in line with the standard methodology.

Conclusions: The interventions, costs, and outcomes were very diverse. The results emphasize the need for guidelines to increase the comparability of cost-effectiveness evaluations relating to asthma. Only then will it be possible to conclude whether interventions for asthmatics, such as self-management based on peak flow monitoring interventions, are cost-effective.

(Published Online September 19 2006)

Key Words: Review; Cost-effectiveness; Asthma; Peak expiratory flow rate; Self-management.