, Volume 249, Issue 6, pp 759-766
Date: 25 Jul 2014

Evaluation of healthcare utilization and health status of patients with Parkinson's disease treated with deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus

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To assess the effects on motor functioning, health status and direct medical costs of high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (DBS-STN) in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). In addition, the cost-effectiveness of DBS-STN vs. drug treatment was investigated.


16 consecutive patients with PD from two centers (Düsseldorf/Cologne; Kiel) treated by DBS-STN were prospectively evaluated. Clinical evaluations were done at baseline and 1, 3, 6, 12 months following surgery by means of the Unified Parkinson's disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Health status of PD patients was assessed using the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) at baseline and 6 months following surgery. Relevant economic data were taken from the medical records and costs (1999) were derived from different German medical economic resources. Costs were determined from the perspective of the health care provider.


Following DBS-STN UPDRS scores (subscores and sum score) as well as health status improved considerably in PD patients. The overall SIP score and the physical dimension score (p < 0.009) were significantly different (p < 0.01) six month after surgery compared with baseline values. Mean costs of DM 40,020 (US$ 20,810, EURO 20,410, GB£ 12,810) per patient were spent during the 12 month observation period for in-patient and out-patient care. These expenses included already the costs for the electronic device for bilateral stimulation. Following DBS-STN medication was considerably reduced. Mean daily drug costs at baseline were DM 46.7±21.8 (US$ 24, EURO 24, GB£ 15) and DM 18.3±17.7 (US$ 10, EURO 9, GB£ 6) at 12 months following DBS-STN. Accounting for the decreased drug consumption, total annual costs amounted to DM 31,400 (US$ 16,330, EURO 16,010, GB£ 10,050). Further, we estimated the incremental cost effectiveness as DBS-STN had higher costs but was more effective than baseline treatment. The incremental total cost-effectiveness ratio for DBS-STN was DM 1.800 (US$ 940, EURO 920, GB£ 580) for one point decrease of the UPDRS.


DBS-STN is an effective treatment that considerably alleviates the severity of signs and symptoms and improves the health status of patients with PD. Compared with drug treatment, however, the expenditures associated with DBS-STN are increased when only direct medical costs are considered in a one year horizon. However, on a long-term basis costs will decrease considerably because of the reduction of the drug expenditure and improved functioning in all activities of daily living. To adequately evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DBS-STN compared with standard drug regimen for PD it is necessary to include direct, indirect and intangible costs on a long-term basis and under standardized circumstances.

Received: 18 July 2001, Received in revised form: 19 October 2001, Accepted: 15 November 2001