Cost utility of the treatment of stress urinary incontinence

Emily Von Bargen, Danielle Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 9 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cost utility
  • decision tree
  • stress urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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