OBJECTIVES: To assess cost-effectiveness of enhanced recovery pathways following total hip and knee arthroplasties. Secondary objectives were to report on quality of studies and identify research gaps for future work. DESIGN: Systematic review of cost-utility analyses. DATA SOURCES: Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, the National Health Service Economic Evaluations Database and EconLit, January 2000 to August 2019. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: English-language peer-reviewed cost-utility analyses of enhanced recovery pathways, or components of one, compared with usual care, in patients having total hip or knee arthroplasties for osteoarthritis. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Data extracted by three reviewers with disagreements resolved by a fourth. Study quality assessed using the Consensus on Health Economic Criteria list, the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research and Assessment of the Validation Status of Health-Economic decision models tools; for trial-based studies the Cochrane Collaboration's tool to assess risk of bias. No quantitative synthesis was undertaken. RESULTS: We identified 17 studies: five trial-based and 12 model-based studies. Two analyses evaluated entire enhanced recovery pathways and reported them to be cost-effective compared with usual care. Ten pathway components were more effective and cost-saving compared with usual care, three were cost-effective, and two were not cost-effective. We had concerns around risk of bias for all included studies, particularly regarding the short time horizon of the trials and lack of reporting of model validation. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent results supported enhanced recovery pathways as a whole, prophylactic systemic antibiotics, antibiotic-impregnated cement and conventional ventilation for infection prevention. No other interventions were subject of more than one study. We found ample scope for future cost-effectiveness studies, particularly analyses of entire recovery pathways and comparison of incremental changes within pathways. A key limitation is that standard practices have changed over the period covered by the included studies. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017059473.
cost-effectiveness, economic evaluation, hip replacement, knee replacement, osteoarthritis, systematic review, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Enhanced Recovery After Surgery, Humans, Models, Economic