Cost-effectiveness of a proactive, integrated primary care approach for community-dwelling frail older persons

Lotte Vestjens*, Jane M. Cramm, Erwin Birnie, Anna P. Nieboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


BackgroundThe article reports on the cost-effectiveness of the proactive, integrated primary care program Finding and Follow-up of Frail older persons (FFF) compared with usual primary care for community-dwelling frail older persons in the Netherlands.MethodsThis study had a matched quasi-experimental design (pretest and posttest). The economic evaluation was performed from a healthcare perspective with a time horizon of 12months. The target population consisted of community-dwelling frail older persons aged >= 75years in the FFF intervention group (11 general practitioner (GP) practices) and in the control group receiving usual care (4 GP practices). The effectiveness measures for the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses were subjective well-being (Social Production Function Instrument for the Level of well-being short; SPF-ILs) and QALYs (EuroQol; EQ-5D-3L), respectively. Costs were assessed using resource use questionnaires. Differences in mean effectiveness between groups were assessed using univariate, multilevel and propensity score matched analyses, with and without imputation of missing values. Differences in costs were assessed using Mann-Whitney U-tests and independent samples t-tests. Bootstrapping was performed, and predicted incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and incremental cost-utility ratios (ICURs) were depicted on cost-effectiveness planes.ResultsThe various analyses showed slightly different results with respect to differences in estimated costs and effects. Multilevel analyses showed a small but significant difference between the groups for well-being, in favor of the control group. No significant differences between groups in terms of QALYs were found. Imputed data showed that mean total costs were significantly higher in the intervention group at follow-up.ConclusionProactive, integrated care for community-dwelling frail older persons as provided in the FFF program is most likely not a cost-effective initiative, compared with usual primary care in the Netherlands, in terms of well-being and QALYs over a 12-month period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages15
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Publication statusPublished - 9-Jul-2019


  • Economic evaluation
  • Primary care
  • Integrated care
  • Frailty
  • Elderly
  • Quasi-experimental design

Cite this