5 years ago

Economic evaluation of antibiotic therapy versus appendicectomy for the treatment of uncomplicated acute appendicitis from the APPAC randomized clinical trial

S. Sippola, H. Paajanen, R. Tuominen, P. Salminen, T. Rantanen, S. Hurme, P. Nordström, T. Rautio, M. Aarnio, J. Grönroos
Background An increasing amount of evidence supports antibiotic therapy for treating uncomplicated acute appendicitis. The objective of this study was to compare the costs of antibiotics alone versus appendicectomy in treating uncomplicated acute appendicitis within the randomized controlled APPAC (APPendicitis ACuta) trial. Methods The APPAC multicentre, non-inferiority RCT was conducted on patients with CT-confirmed uncomplicated acute appendicitis. Patients were assigned randomly to appendicectomy or antibiotic treatment. All costs were recorded, whether generated by the initial visit and subsequent treatment or possible recurrent appendicitis during the 1-year follow-up. The cost estimates were based on cost levels for the year 2012. Results Some 273 patients were assigned to the appendicectomy group and 257 to antibiotic treatment. Most patients randomized to antibiotic treatment did not require appendicectomy during the 1-year follow-up. In the operative group, overall societal costs (€5989·2, 95 per cent c.i. 5787·3 to 6191·1) were 1·6 times higher (€2244·8, 1940·5 to 2549·1) than those in the antibiotic group (€3744·4, 3514·6 to 3974·2). In both groups, productivity losses represented a slightly higher proportion of overall societal costs than all treatment costs together, with diagnostics and medicines having a minor role. Those in the operative group were prescribed significantly more sick leave than those in the antibiotic group (mean(s.d.) 17·0(8·3) (95 per cent c.i. 16·0 to 18·0) versus 9·2(6·9) (8·3 to 10·0) days respectively; P < 0·001). When the age and sex of the patient as well as the hospital were controlled for simultaneously, the operative treatment generated significantly more costs in all models. Conclusion Patients receiving antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated appendicitis incurred lower costs than those who had surgery.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10575

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