Economic evaluation of interventions designed to reduce Clostridium difficile infection

Related Staff:

Brain D., Yakob L., Barnett A., Riley T., Clements A., Halton K., Graves N. (2018) Economic evaluation of interventions designed to reduced Clostridium difficile infection.  PLoS One. 13:e0190093.



Healthcare decision-makers are increasingly expected to balance increasing demand for health services with a finite budget. The role of economic evaluation in healthcare is increasing and this research provides decision-makers with new information about the management of Clostridium difficile infection, from an economic perspective.


A model-based economic evaluation was undertaken to identify the most cost-effective healthcare intervention relating to the reduction of Clostridium difficile transmission. Efficacy evidence was synthesised from the literature and was used to inform the effectiveness of both bundled approaches and stand-alone interventions, where appropriate intervention combinations were coupled together. Changes in health outcomes were estimated by combining information about intervention effectiveness and its subsequent impact on quality of life.


A bundled approach of improving hand hygiene and environmental cleaning produces the best combination of increased health benefits and cost-savings. It has the highest mean net monetary benefit when compared to all other interventions. This intervention remains the optimal decision under different clinical circumstances, such as when mortality rate and patient length of stay are increased. Bundled interventions offered the best opportunity for health improvements.


These findings provide healthcare decision-makers with novel information about the allocation of scarce resources relating to Clostridium difficile. If investments are not made in interventions that clearly yield gains in health outcomes, the allocation and use of scarce healthcare resources is inappropriate and improvements in health outcomes will be forgone.