Cost-effectiveness of gastrostomy placement for children with neurodevelopmental disability

J L Townsend, G Craig, M Lawson, S Reilly, L Spitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Malnutrition and growth deficiency are common in neurologically impaired children. Gastrostomy placement has been shown to result in significant catch-up growth, improved health of the child and reduction in family stress; its cost-effectiveness has not been investigated.

AIMS: Costs related to gastrostomy placement are estimated here from a prospective controlled study of children referred to a tertiary paediatric centre in the UK.

METHODS: Costs of inpatient stay, medication, tests, general practitioner consultations, community healthcare, equipment, and parents' indirect costs were estimated at baseline and follow-up. Costs of the different types of gastrostomy surgery are given.

RESULTS: Results for both time periods were available for 54 of the 76 children recruited to the study. Five-day food diaries were kept at baseline and follow-up. Costs of food increased slightly but not significantly post surgery from pound sterling 33 to pound sterling 40 (Euro 44 to Euro 54, US$65 to US$78) per week. Variation in cost between cases was considerable but the mean net cost difference of pound sterling 20.80 (CI - pound sterling 43.79 to pound sterling 85.35) (Euro 28 (CI Euro-59 to Euro 115), US$41 (CI US$-86 to US$167)) per week per child including for food and surgery, was also not significant. Community service costs were significantly lower post surgery. Few parents reported personal costs at either time point, although many had reduced or stopped paid work to care for the child.

CONCLUSION: As gastrostomy placement for these children resulted in significant clinical benefit at no significant extra cost, it is concluded that the procedure is cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-7
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Drug Costs
  • Employment
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food
  • Gastrostomy
  • Growth Disorders
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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