An Economic Evaluation Supported by Qualitative Data About the Patient Concerns Inventory (PCI) versus Standard Treatment Pathway in the Management of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Victory ‘Segun Ezeofor*, Llinos Haf Spencer, Simon N. Rogers, Anastasios Kanatas, Derek Lowe, Cherith J. Semple, Jeffrey R. Hanna, Seow Tien Yeo, Rhiannon Tudor Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The head and neck cancer (HNC) Patient Concerns Inventory (PCI) is a condition-specific prompt list that allows patients to raise concerns to cancer consultants that otherwise might be overlooked.

Objective: This is the first economic evaluation of the PCI in patients with HNC investigating the costs and effects to the health service of not prioritising certain treatment pathways in addition to the primary cancer pathway. Additional costs can be accrued due to delayed referral to other appropriate services, e.g. hospital dentist. Economic evidence could influence future policy direction in this area globally.

Methods: Alongside a 3-year clustered randomised controlled trial, an economic evaluation was undertaken with Client Service Receipt Inventory data collected at three different time points (baseline and 6 and 12 months post-baseline). Patients were identified by a multidisciplinary team at the trial clinics. This economic analysis compared the PCI intervention versus the non-PCI treatment pathway. A deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gain of the PCI versus non-PCI intervention treatment pathways. Qualitative data were also collected from seven consultants to triangulate findings from the economic evaluation.

Results: The analysis used data from 191 patients (66% of the full trial sample). The PCI inventory was low cost, at just over £13 per participant. The PCI intervention was cost effective and also cost saving, with an incremental cost difference of £295.91 over the 12-month follow-up period. The QALY values were higher in the PCI intervention strategy, with a value of 0.79, whereas the non-PCI group had a value of 0.76, thus the PCI intervention was dominant. The sensitivity analysis showed that, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000 per QALY gained, the probability of being cost effective was 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80–0.83). Qualitative results showed that consultants using the PCI reported an enhanced awareness of patients’ overall post-treatment needs.

Discussion: The PCI provided an effective means to conduct clinical consultations by avoiding unnecessary healthcare costs and focussing on aspects of care most important to patients. The cost per QALY gain was within the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline threshold. The economic evaluation showed that the PCI intervention strategy was dominant and therefore cost saving to the national health service (NHS) and was more effective in terms of treatment.

Conclusion: The PCI appears to be a low-cost intervention that generates a cost-effective benefit to patients from a NHS perspective if rolled out as part of routine care. Qualitative evidence has shown that the use of the PCI is supported by consultants in routine practice.

Trial Registration: Clinical Trials Identifier: NCT03086629.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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