MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio, MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 MetroHealth Dr, Cleveland, OH 44109; and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH.
To provide a cost-effectiveness analysis of dysphagia screening in the acute poststroke period with use of a videofluoroscopic swallowing study, a clinical bedside swallowing evaluation, or a combined approach.
A decision-analysis model was used with information derived from multiple data sources, including meta-analyses and other relevant clinical studies. Univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
The analysis assessed direct medical costs of pneumonia. Strategies were compared on the basis of an incremental cost-effectiveness analysis, with effectiveness measured in quality-adjusted life-years.
The strategy of having each patient undergo a videofluoroscopic swallowing study for dysphagia was more effective and less costly than the strategies of clinical bedside swallowing evaluation alone or a combined approach. The model was most influenced by the reduction in the risk of pneumonia attributable to the treatment of mild/moderate and severe dysphagia, the effectiveness of treatment with clinical bedside swallowing evaluation, the baseline probability of pneumonia, and the cost of a videofluoroscopic swallowing study.
A videofluoroscopic swallowing study is cost-effective and often saves costs compared with a clinical bedside swallowing evaluation alone or a combined approach. Research aimed at improving the understanding of the effectiveness of treatment for dysphagia in the prevention of aspiration pneumonia and resulting mortality would improve the model.