Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the cost-effectiveness of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) compared with no treatment as additional therapy to usual care for the treatment of chronic stable angina from the perspective of the UK National Health Service.
Methods: The study design was a systematic review of published evidence, use of expert clinical opinion, and decision analytic cost-effectiveness model. The systematic review was conducted and statistical methods used to synthesize the effectiveness evidence from randomized control trials. Formal methods were used to elicit opinion from clinical experts where no evidence was available. These provide informed “priors” on key model parameters. A decision analytic model was developed to assess the costs and health consequences associated with the primary outcome of the trials over a lifetime time horizon. The main outcome measures were costs from a health service perspective and outcomes measured as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).
Results: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of EECP was £18,643 for each additional QALY, with a probability of being cost-effective of 0.44 and 0.70 at cost-effectiveness thresholds of £20,000 and £30,000 per QALY gained, respectively. Results were sensitive to the duration of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) benefits from treatment.
Conclusions: The long-term maintenance of HRQoL benefits of EECP is central to the estimate of cost-effectiveness. The results from a single randomized control trial do not provide firm evidence of the clinical or cost-effectiveness of EECP in stable angina. Long-term follow-up trials assessing quality of life from EECP are required.