The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 238–246 | Cite as

Cost effectiveness of preventive home visits to the elderly

Economic evaluation alongside randomized controlled study
  • Christian Kronborg
  • Mikkel Vass
  • Jørgen Lauridsen
  • Kirsten Avlund
Original Papers


We evaluated the cost effectiveness of preventive home visits to elderly persons in Denmark alongside a 3-year randomized controlled study. The main outcome measure was incremental costs per active life-year gained. The number of active life-years was defined as those during which the person is able independently to transfer, walk indoors, go outdoors, walk outdoors in both pleasant and poor weather, and climb stairs. In 17 of 34 municipalities health visitors and general practitioners were offered geriatric training, which focused on early signs of disability, physical activity, and interdisciplinary follow-up. The remaining 17 municipalities offered preventive home visits as usual. Outcomes were measured in 4,034 persons aged 75 or 80 years old and dwelling at home. The difference in mean total costs between the intervention and the control group discounted at 3% was €−856 (95% CI −2,455 to 744) in 75-year-olds and €694 (−2,684 to 4,071) in 80-year-olds. The discounted difference in mean active life-years was 0.034 (−0.058 to 0.125) and 0.197 (0.013 to 0.380), respectively. The study did not provide conclusive evidence on the cost effectiveness of the programs under consideration.


Elderly Preventive home visits Assessment Functional ability Community intervention 



This study was supported by grants form the Danish Medical Research Council, Research Foundation for General Practice and Primary Care, Eastern Danish Research Forum, County Value-Added Tax Foundation, and Ministry of Social Affairs. We thank Eva Jepsen, Lisbeth Willemoes Sørensen, and Annette Johannesen for help in following up the questionnaires, and all participating municipalities. We are indebted to Christian Cato Holm for data management and development of the municipality registration software. The study was approved by the regional scientific ethics committees and by the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Conflict of interest

No information supplied.


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Kronborg
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mikkel Vass
    • 2
  • Jørgen Lauridsen
    • 3
  • Kirsten Avlund
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  4. 4.Health Economics, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense CDenmark

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