BACKGROUND: Prevention of secondary stroke following initial ictus is an important focus of after-stroke care. Blood pressure (BP) is a key risk factor, so usual care following stroke or transient ischaemic attack includes regular BP checks and monitoring of anti-hypertensive medication. This is traditionally carried out in primary care, but the evidence supporting self-monitoring and self-guided management of BP in the general population with hypertension is growing.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to estimate the cost effectiveness of treatment as usual (TAU) versus (1) self-monitoring of BP (S-MON) and (2) self-monitoring and guided self-management of anti-hypertensive medication (S-MAN).
METHODS: This was a within-trial economic evaluation of a randomised controlled trial estimating the incremental cost per 1 mmHg BP reduction and per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained over a 6-month time horizon from the perspective of the UK National Health Service (NHS).
RESULTS: Data were evaluable for 140 participants. Costs per patient were £473, £853 and £1035; mean reduction in systolic BP (SBP) was 3.6, 6.7 and 6.1 mmHg, and QALYs accrued were 0.427, 0.422 and 0.423 for TAU, S-MON and S-MAN, respectively. No statistically significant differences in incremental costs or outcomes were detected. On average, S-MAN was dominated or extended dominated. The incremental cost per 1 mmHg BP reduction from S-MON versus TAU was £137.
CONCLUSION: On average, S-MAN is an inefficient intervention. S-MON may be cost effective, depending on the willingness to pay for a 1 mmHg BP reduction, although it yielded fewer QALYs over the within-trial time horizon. Decision modelling is required to explore the longer-term costs and outcomes.
TEST-BP was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Programme (RfPB; grant reference PB-PG-0909-20246). This paper presents independent research funded by the NIHR under the RfPB. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
The datasets and code generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.