Objectives: In patients with burns an early accurate diagnosis of burn depth is essential to determine optimal treatment. The combination of Laser Doppler imaging (LDI) and clinical assessment leads to an accurate estimate of burn depth. However, the actual effects of the introduction of LDI on therapeutic decisions, clinical outcomes and costs are unknown. The aim of our study was to analyse the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of LDI in burn care. The effects of LDI on decision-making, clinical outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness were assessed. Methods: A randomised controlled trial was conducted in all three Dutch burn centres, including subsequent patients with burns of indeterminate depth. In the standard care (SC) group, burn depth and treatment choices were based on clinical assessment only, in the other group (LDI) clinical assessment and LDI results were combined. Primary outcome was the effect of the introduction of LDI on wound healing time. The economic evaluation was performed from a societal perspective with a bottom up approach, following the micro-costing method. Results: Mean time to wound healing from randomisation was 14.3 days in the LDI group and 15.5 days in the SC group (p= 0.258). In the subgroup of clinical patients requiring surgery earlier decision for surgery and a shorter wound healing time were observed in the LDI group (16.0 versus 19.9 days, p= 0.029). Mean total costs per patient were € 18 549 versus € 18 896 (p= 0.837). Conclusions: LDI proved to provide guidance for therapeutic decisions with a significantly shorter wound healing time in the subgroup of clinical patients requiring surgery. When time to surgery can be reduced by 2.4 days, similar to the time to decision for surgery in our study, cost savings of € 794 per scanned patient can be achieved.
|Journal||Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2014|
- laser doppler imaging