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Optimising breathlessness triggered services for older people with advanced diseases: a multicentre economic study (OPTBreathe)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number218251
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Early online date15 Aug 2022
Accepted/In press11 May 2022
E-pub ahead of print15 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme (grant reference number PBPG-0815-20026). Components of this research were supported by the charity Cicely Saunders International as part of its breathlessness programme and by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research South London (NIHR CLAHRC South London), now recommissioned as NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London. Publisher Copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


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King's Authors


Background: In advanced disease, breathlessness becomes severe, increasing health services use. Breathlessness triggered services demonstrate effectiveness in trials and meta-analyses but lack health economic assessment. Methods: Our economic study included a discrete choice experiment (DCE), followed by a cost-effectiveness analysis modelling. The DCE comprised face-to-face interviews with older patients with chronic breathlessness and their carers across nine UK centres. Conditional logistic regression analysis of DCE data determined the preferences (or not, indicated by negative β coefficients) for service attributes. Economic modelling estimated the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) over 5 years. Findings: The DCE recruited 190 patients and 68 carers. Offering breathlessness services in person from general practitioner (GP) surgeries was not preferred (β=-0.30, 95% CI -0.40 to -0.21); hospital outpatient clinics (0.16, 0.06 to 0.25) or via home visits (0.15, 0.06 to 0.24) were preferred. Inperson services with comprehensive treatment review (0.15, 0.07 to 0.21) and holistic support (0.19, 0.07 to 0.31) were preferred to those without. Cost-effectiveness analysis found the most and the least preferred models of breathlessness services were cost-effective compared with usual care. The most preferred service had £5719 lower costs (95% CI -6043 to 5395), with 0.004 (95% CI -0.003 to 0.011) QALY benefits per patient. Uptake was higher when attributes were tailored to individual preferences (86% vs 40%). Conclusion: Breathlessness services are cost-effective compared with usual care for health and social care, giving cost savings and better quality of life. Uptake of breathlessness services is higher when service attributes are individually tailored.

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