Cost-effectiveness of interventions for increasing the possession of functioning smoke alarms in households with pre-school children: a modelling study

Saramago, Pedro and Cooper, Nicola J. and Sutton, Alex J. and Hayes, Mike and Dunn, Ken and Manca, Andrea and Kendrick, Denise (2014) Cost-effectiveness of interventions for increasing the possession of functioning smoke alarms in households with pre-school children: a modelling study. BMC Public Health, 14 . 459/1-459/11. ISSN 1471-2458

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Abstract

Background

The UK has one of the highest rates for deaths from fire and flames in children aged 0-14 years compared to other high income countries. Evidence shows that smoke alarms can reduce the risk of fire-related injury but little exists on their cost-effectiveness. We aimed to compare the cost effectiveness of different interventions for the uptake of 'functioning' smoke alarms and consequently for the prevention of fire-related injuries in children in the UK.

Methods

We carried out a decision model-based probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis. We used a hypothetical population of newborns and evaluated the impact of living in a household with or without a functioning smoke alarm during the first 5 years of their life on overall lifetime costs and quality of life from a public health perspective. We compared seven interventions, ranging from usual care to more complex interventions comprising of education, free/low cost equipment giveaway, equipment fitting and/or home safety inspection.

Results

Education and free/low cost equipment was the most cost-effective intervention with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of [pound sign]34,200 per QALY gained compared to usual care. This was reduced to approximately £4,500 per QALY gained when 1.8 children under the age of 5 were assumed per household.

Conclusions

Assessing cost-effectiveness, as well as effectiveness, is important in a public sector system operating under a fixed budget restraint. As highlighted in this study, the more effective interventions (in this case the more complex interventions) may not necessarily be the ones considered the most cost-effective.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cost-effectiveness analysis; Smoke alarms; Decision model; Fire-related injuries; Child home injuries
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Primary Care
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-459
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: McCambridge, Mrs April
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 07:37
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 01:16
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3212

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