Pressure ulcers management: an economic evaluation


Introduction. Pressure ulcer management represents a growing problem for medical and social health care systems all over the world, particularly in European Union countries where the incidence of pressure ulcers in older persons (> 60 years of age) is predicted to rise. Objectives. The aim of this study was to provide evidence for the lower impact on economic resources of using advanced dressings for the treatment of pressure ulcers with respect to conventional simple dressings. Methods. Two different models of analysis, derived from Activity Based Costing and Health Technology Assessment, were used to measure, over a 30-day period, the direct costs incurred by pressure ulcer treatment for community-residing patients receiving integrated home care. Results. Although the mean cost per home care visit was higher in the advanced dressings patient group than in the simple dressings patient one (? 22.31 versus ? 16.03), analysis of the data revealed that the cost of using advanced dressings was lower due to fewer home care visits (22 versus 11). Conclusion. The results underline the fact that decision-makers need to improve their understanding of the advantages of taking a long-term view with regards to the purchase and use of materials. This could produce considerable savings of resources in addition to improving treatment efficacy for the benefit of patients and the health care system.