Economic trial outcomes

It might be assumed that, if a trial showed no clinical benefit, then an economic evaluation would not be warranted. Not always true. There is no reason why an trial intervention might not be superior, but might be achieved at less cost. Of course, some studies set out explicitly to test that hypothesis. But in other trials, it can be worth doing the analysis even if the clinical outcomes appear equivalent.

Economic evaluations of rehabilitation are not common. But as many trials involve comparison of quite complex interventions, it is certainly plausible that there may be an economic difference if not a clinical difference. We need to consider economics more often.

A study on computer-aided treatment for people with aphasia, referred to by the acronym Big CACTUS, failed to find any clinical benefit. A recently published economic evaluation also found no obvious economic benefit. It did not seem more expensive and so might be a reasonable alternative as we progressively move towards having insufficient therapists.

See here.

Latimer NR, Bhadhuri A, Alshreef AO, et al.
Self-managed, computerised word finding therapy as an add-on to usual care for chronic aphasia post-stroke: An economic evaluation. 
Clinical Rehabilitation. November 2020. doi:10.1177/0269215520975348

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