Cost-effectiveness analysis of overground robotic training versus conventional locomotor training in people with spinal cord injury

Daniel Pinto*, Allen Walter Heinemann, Shuo Hsiu Chang, Susan Charlifue, Edelle C. Field-Fote, Catherine L. Furbish, Arun Jayaraman, Candace Tefertiller, Heather B. Taylor, Dustin Douglas French

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Few, if any estimates of cost-effectiveness for locomotor training strategies following spinal cord injury (SCI) are available. The purpose of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of locomotor training strategies following spinal cord injury (overground robotic locomotor training versus conventional locomotor training) by injury status (complete versus incomplete) using a practice-based cohort. Methods: A probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a prospective, practice-based cohort from four participating Spinal Cord Injury Model System sites. Conventional locomotor training strategies (conventional training) were compared to overground robotic locomotor training (overground robotic training). Conventional locomotor training included treadmill-based training with body weight support, overground training, and stationary robotic systems. The outcome measures included the calculation of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) using the EQ-5D and therapy costs. We estimate cost-effectiveness using the incremental cost utility ratio and present results on the cost-effectiveness plane and on cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. Results: Participants in the prospective, practice-based cohort with complete EQ-5D data (n = 99) qualified for the analysis. Both conventional training and overground robotic training experienced an improvement in QALYs. Only people with incomplete SCI improved with conventional locomotor training, 0.045 (SD 0.28), and only people with complete SCI improved with overground robotic training, 0.097 (SD 0.20). Costs were lower for conventional training, $1758 (SD $1697) versus overground robotic training $3952 (SD $3989), and lower for those with incomplete versus complete injury. Conventional overground training was more effective and cost less than robotic therapy for people with incomplete SCI. Overground robotic training was more effective and cost more than conventional training for people with complete SCI. The incremental cost utility ratio for overground robotic training for people with complete spinal cord injury was $12,353/QALY. Conclusions: The most cost-effective locomotor training strategy for people with SCI differed based on injury completeness. Conventional training was more cost-effective than overground robotic training for people with incomplete SCI. Overground robotic training was more cost-effective than conventional training for people with complete SCI. The effect estimates may be subject to limitations associated with small sample sizes and practice-based evidence methodology. These estimates provide a baseline for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalJournal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Exoskeleton device
  • Gait
  • Physical therapy modalities
  • Quality-adjusted life years
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Rehabilitation

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