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.