Clinicians' adherence versus non adherence to practice guidelines in the management of patients with sarcoma: A cost-effectiveness assessment in two European regions

Lionel Perrier, Alessandra Buja, Giuseppe Mastrangelo, Antonella Vecchiato, Paolo Sandon, Françoise Ducimetière, Jean Yves Blay, François Nol Gilly, Carole Siani, Pierre Biron, Dominique Ranchère-Vince, Anne Valérie Decouvelaere, Philippe Thiesse, Christophe Bergeron, Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, Jean Michel Coindre, Carlo Riccardo Rossi, Isabelle Ray-Coquard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although the management of sarcoma is improving, non adherence to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) remains high, mainly because of the low incidence of the disease and the variety of histological subtypes. Since little is known about the health economics of sarcoma, we undertook a cost-effectiveness analysis (within the CONnective TIssue CAncer NETwork, CONTICANET) comparing costs and outcomes when clinicians adhered to CPGs and when they did not. Methods. Patients studied had a histological diagnosis of sarcoma, were older than 15 years, and had been treated in the Rhône-Alpes region of France (in 2005/2006) or in the Veneto region of Italy (in 2007). Data collected retrospectively for the three years after diagnosis were used to determine relapse free survival and health costs (adopting the hospital's perspective and a microcosting approach). All costs were expressed in euros () at their 2009 value. A 4% annual discount rate was applied to both costs and effects. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was expressed as cost per relapse-free year gained when management was compliant with CPGs compared with when it was not. To capture uncertainty surrounding ICER, a probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed based on a non-parametric bootstrap method. Results: A total of 219 patients were included in the study. Compliance with CPGs was observed for 118 patients (54%). Average total costs reached 23,571 euros when treatment was in accordance with CPGs and 27,313 euros when it was not. In relation to relapse-free survival, compliance with CPGs strictly dominates non compliance, i.e. it is both less costly and more effective. Taking uncertainty into account, the probability that compliance with CPGs still strictly dominates was 75%. Conclusions: Our findings should encourage physicians to increase their compliance with CPGs and healthcare administrators to invest in the implementation of CPGs in the management of sarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Adherence
  • Cancer
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Compliance
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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