AcuTrials

An economic evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial (ATLAS)

Item

Title

An economic evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial (ATLAS)

Journal Publication

Date

2017

volume

12(12)

pages

e0178918

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Acupuncture/economics/*methods
Chronic Pain/*therapy
*Cost-Benefit Analysis
Musculoskeletal Manipulations/economics/*methods
Neck Pain/*therapy
Primary Health Care

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture and usual care, and Alexander Technique lessons and usual care, compared with usual GP care alone for chronic neck pain patients. METHODS: An economic evaluation was undertaken alongside the ATLAS trial, taking both NHS and wider societal viewpoints. Participants were offered up to twelve acupuncture sessions or twenty Alexander lessons (equivalent overall contact time). Costs were in pounds sterling. Effectiveness was measured using the generic EQ-5D to calculate quality adjusted life years (QALYs), as well as using a specific neck pain measure-the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ). RESULTS: In the base case analysis, incremental QALY gains were 0.032 and 0.025 in the acupuncture and Alexander groups, respectively, in comparison to usual GP care, indicating moderate health benefits for both interventions. Incremental costs were pound451 for acupuncture and pound667 for Alexander, mainly driven by intervention costs. Acupuncture was likely to be cost-effective (ICER = pound18,767/QALY bootstrapped 95% CI pound4,426 to pound74,562) and was robust to most sensitivity analyses. Alexander lessons were not cost-effective at the lower NICE threshold of pound20,000/QALY ( pound25,101/QALY bootstrapped 95% CI - pound150,208 to pound248,697) but may be at pound30,000/QALY, however, there was considerable statistical uncertainty in all tested scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with usual care, acupuncture is likely to be cost-effective for chronic neck pain, whereas, largely due to higher intervention costs, Alexander lessons are unlikely to be cost-effective. However, there were high levels of missing data and further research is needed to assess the long-term cost-effectiveness of these interventions.

doi

10.1371/journal.pone.0178918

pmid

PMID:29211741; PMCID:PMC5718562

Language

English

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