Economic evaluation of a short-course intensive rehabilitation program in patients with intermittent claudication

M. Ambrosetti, M. Salerno, S. Boni, G. Daniele, R. Tramarin, R. F E Pedretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. The aim of this study was to provide cost-description and cost-effectiveness of a short-course intensive in-hospital rehabilitation program in patients with intermittent claudication. Methods. Costs per case treated were calculated according to a local standard protocol including diagnostic evaluation of peripheral arterial disease and other related cardiovascular conditions, physical training, and secondary prevention. Three additional less structured scenarios were also evaluated. Results. All 107 enrolled patients (males 91%, mean age 65±8 years) completed the program (4-week duration; twice a day walking exercise) and showed significant increases in walking performance, as evaluated by constant treadmill-test. At admission, the mean values of initial claudication distance (ICD) and absolute claudication distance (ACD) were 150±111 and 432±327 m, respectively. At the end of the program, 12 (11%) patients completed the treadmill test without pain, while 31 (29%) completed the test without stopping due to maximal pain. Among the remaining 64 (60%) patients, the ICD and ACD increased by 137% and 112%, respectively. The cost per case treated ranged from € 1 733.2 (standard protocol) to € 9 18.9 (physical training only). By adding the cost of hospitalization and indirect costs, the same costs ranged from € 4 626.2 to € 3 811.9. The average cost to walk one additional meter without pain as a result of the rehabilitation program was € 57.5, while the cost to walk one additional meter before stopping was € 27. As showed by sensitivity analysis, the maintenance of the expected level of treatment success was crucial for program's cost-effectiveness. Conclusion. From the societal viewpoint, short-course intensive rehabilitation may be cost-effective in patients with stable intermittent claudication and could be considered in decision models evaluating different therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Angiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Economics
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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