Brachytherapy for prostate cancer: Potentials and limitations of social health insurance data for benefit assessment - Abstract

Background: Due to the insufficient data base the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) had in 2009 after 7 years of deliberation decided to initiate consultation regarding ambulatory brachytherapy for localised prostate cancer for 10 years from social health insurance (SHI) benefits.

The aim is to gain more findings by means of comparative studies.

Problem: Based on the non-availability of clinical primary data of a methodologically acceptable level, it was analysed to what extent secondary data of the SHI may be used in order to arrive at valid conclusions for benefit aspects.

Methods: As base approx. 8 million insured of TK with their data of cost reimbursement between 2006 and 2011 were considered. In SHI secondary data no clinical information regarding tumour stage and other prognostic factors are available. Therefore, a novel method with therapy-specific multisectoral inclusion and exclusion criteria, respectively, was developed in order to differentiate between localised and advanced tumours of the prostate. Overall survival, relapse-free survival, event-free survival and side-effects associated to prostate cancer were analysed.

Results: Out of 87 822 insured persons with the diagnosis prostate cancer, 795 with PBT, 10 936 with RP and 1 925 with EBRT were investigated in detail. The 4-year event-free survival rate was 73% for RP, 77% for PBT and 71% for EBRT. Many prostate cancer-specific side effects appeared already before intervention. Side effects of the intestinal tract (23.8%) and sexual impairments (26.5%) were more frequent for EBRT than for RP (17.1%/14.8%) and PBT (16.4%/13.2%).

Conclusion: By means of SHI secondary data and adequate operationalisation important findings regarding relevant aspects of prostate cancer in healthcare research can be generated. However, these hold methodological limitations and are not suited to draw valid conclusions for benefit assessment. Based solely on SHI routine data valid statements regarding comparative benefit assessment are limited. Limitations could be reduced by applying a record linkage with clinical data. Such primary data should include information on tumour stages as well as therapy assignment and observation of survival time.

Written by:
Horenkamp-Sonntag D, Linder R, Engel S, Verheyen F.   Are you the author?
WINEG - Wissenschaftliches Institut der TK für Nutzen und Effizienz im Gesundheitswesen, Hamburg.

 

Reference: Gesundheitswesen. 2015 May 28. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1398512


PubMed Abstract
PMID: 26021371

Article in German.

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