• conservative treatment;
  • cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • EuroQol;
  • nurse specialist;
  • pragmatic multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial;
  • primary care;
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years;
  • uncertainty;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • value of information analysis



To determine the 12-month, societal cost-effectiveness of involving urinary incontinence (UI) nurse specialists in primary care compared to care-as-usual by general practitioners (GPs).


From 2005 until 2008 an economic evaluation was performed alongside a pragmatic multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing UI patients receiving care by nurse specialists with patients receiving care-as-usual by GPs in the Netherlands. One hundred eighty-six adult patients with stress, urgency, or mixed UI were randomly allocated to the intervention and 198 to care-as-usual; they were followed for 1 year. Main outcome measures were Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALYsocietal) based on societal preferences for health outcomes (EuroQol-5D), QALYpatient based on patient preferences for health outcomes (EuroQol VAS), and Incontinence Severity weighted Life Year (ISLY) based on patient-reported severity and impact of UI (ICIQ-UI SF). Health care resource use, patient and family costs, and productivity costs were assessed. Data were collected by three monthly questionnaires. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated. Uncertainty was assessed using bootstrap simulation, and the expected value of perfect information was calculated (EVPI).


Compared to care-as-usual, nurse specialist involvement costs € 16,742/QALYsocietal gained. Both QALYpatient and ISLY yield slightly more favorable cost-effectiveness results. At a threshold of € 40,000/QALYsocietal, the probability that the intervention is cost-effective is 58%. The EVPI amounts to € 78 million.


Based on these results, we recommend adopting the nurse specialist intervention in primary care, while conducting more research through careful monitoring of the effectiveness and costs of the intervention in routine practice. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:526–534, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.