Occupational therapy interventions, such as home visits, have been identified as being resource-intensive, but cost-effectiveness analyses are rarely, if ever, carried out. We sought to estimate the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy home visits after stroke, as part of a feasibility study, and to demonstrate the value and methods of economic evaluation.
We completed a cost-effectiveness analysis of pre-discharge occupational therapy home visits after stroke compared with a hospital-based interview, carried out alongside a feasibility randomized controlled trial. Our primary outcome was quality-adjusted life years. Full cost and outcome data were available for 65 trial participants.
We found that the mean total cost of a home visit was £183, compared with £75 for a hospital interview. Home visits are shown to be slightly more effective, resulting in a cost per quality-adjusted life year of just over £20,000.
Our analysis is the only economic evaluation of this intervention to date. Home visits are shown to be more expensive and more effective than a hospital-based interview, but our results are subject to a high level of uncertainty and should be treated as such. Further economic evaluations in this field are encouraged.