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Cost Utility of the Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence

Von Bargen, Emily DO*; Patterson, Danielle MD, MSc

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: May/June 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 150–153
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000159
Original Articles

Objective We sought to investigate the cost utility of nonsurgical versus surgical treatments for stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Methods A decision analysis model was created to compare nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for women with SUI. Decision paths included conservative management, pelvic floor physical therapy (pelvic floor muscle training [PFMT]), PFMT with electrical stimulation, incontinence pessary, and surgical treatment. A Markov model cohort analysis was performed with a cycle length of 1 year starting at age 45 years with a lifetime horizon. Probabilities, success rates, and utilities were obtained from the literature when available or by expert opinion. Cost-utility analysis was performed using US recommendations from a societal perspective. Cost data were obtained from Medicare reimbursement in 2012 US dollars.

Results Incontinence pessary was the most cost-effective treatment option with a cost of $11,411 for 18.9 quality-adjusted life years. At a willingness to pay (WTP) threshold of $50,000, incontinence pessary remained the most cost-effective treatment option. At a WTP threshold of $60,000, surgery became the most cost-effective treatment option. The PFMT and PFMT with electrical stimulation were dominated at any WTP threshold.

Conclusions Surgical correction is likely the most cost-effective treatment option for young healthy women with SUI. Results are driven by the high success rate of minimally invasive slings. More studies are needed to define utility values for heath states experienced by women with SUI. This will enhance our ability to develop more accurate cost-utility models and offer the best treatment for women affected by incontinence.

In a cost-utility analysis of surgical versus non-surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence in healthy women, a midurethral sling appears to be the most cost-effective initial treatment.

From the *Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Auburn Hospital/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambridge; and †Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA.

Reprints: Emily Von Bargen, DO, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Urogynecology, 725 Concord Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.