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Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 374 - 381

Economic Evaluation of the HF-ACTION (Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training) Randomized Controlled Trial: An Exercise Training Study of Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

S. D Reed, D. J Whellan, Y Li, J. Y Friedman, S. J Ellis, I. L Pina, S. J Settles, L Davidson Ray, J. L Johnson, L. S Cooper, C. M O'Connor, K. A Schulman and for the HF ACTION Investigators    

Abstract: Background—

Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training (HF-ACTION) assigned 2331 outpatients with medically stable heart failure to exercise training or usual care. We compared medical resource use and costs incurred by these patients during follow-up.

Methods and Results—

Extensive data on medical resource use and hospital bills were collected throughout the trial for estimates of direct medical costs. Intervention costs were estimated using patient-level trial data, administrative records, and published unit costs. Mean follow-up was 2.5 years. There were 2297 hospitalizations in the exercise group and 2332 in the usual care group (P=0.92). The mean number of inpatient days was 13.6 (standard deviation [SD], 27.0) in the exercise group and 15.0 (SD, 31.4) in the usual care group (P=0.23). Other measures of resource use were similar between groups, except for trends indicating that fewer patients in the exercise group underwent high-cost inpatient procedures. Total direct medical costs per participant were an estimated $50 857 (SD, $81 488) in the exercise group and $56 177 (SD, $92 749) in the usual care group (95% confidence interval for the difference, $–12 755 to $1547; P=0.10). The direct cost of exercise training was an estimated $1006 (SD, $337). Patient time costs were an estimated $5018 (SD, $4600).

Conclusions—

The cost of exercise training was relatively low for the health care system, but patients incurred significant time costs. In this economic evaluation, there was little systematic benefit in terms of overall medical resource use with this intervention.

Clinical Trial Registration—

URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00047437.

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