Published: 2018-11-01 11:28 | Updated: 2018-11-01 13:46

Balance training for Parkinson is cost-effective

Balance training for persons with Parkinson’s disease was found to be value-for- money in a health economic study conducted by Conran Joseph, postdoc in the research group of Erika Franzén at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS).

Conran Joseph och Erika FranzénThe study was conducted as a randomized clinical study. The intervention group received progressive group-based training delivered three times per week for ten weeks, whereas the control group received usual care.
The study investigated balance performance, gait speed and quality adjusted life-year – QALY. Costs related to the program were compiled including training costs, costs for delivering the intervention and therapists’ costs. To account for some societal costs, participants’ time and travelling costs were included. Then, they compared the total difference in effects and more specifically the cost associated to each unit’s increase in the outcomes results (i.e. balance, gait speed and QALY- quality adjusted life-year). They also conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of their results.

They found significant differences in effectiveness and benefit between the groups in all three outcomes, favoring the training group with a large margin. The HiBalance program showed a high probability of being cost-effective in people with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease.

Today, there are few specific exercise programs that treat motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and none proved to be cost-effective.
Thanks to its proven efficacy and cost-effectiveness, this training program has the potential of reaching a wider audience and to be fully implemented in routine clinical activities.

In the aftermath of this study, the research team has now completed an implementation study where the training program has been conducted at various sites in Stockholm with the aim of reaching a wider range of persons with Parkinson’s disease, as well as investigate both clinical effectiveness and conduct a process evaluation to facilitate full-scale implementation in the Swedish healthcare context. In addition, the research group is planning to conduct another cost-effectiveness study, but this time, applying a more complete societal perspective.

Erika Franzén and her research group have got a paper published in Clinical Rehabilitation: ”Cost-effectiveness of the HiBalance trainging program for elderly with Parkinson’s disease: analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial” by Conran Joseph, Nina Brodin, Breiffni Leavy, Maria Hagströmer, Niklas Löfgren, Erika Franzén

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