The MOA Feasibility Study

Capturing healthcare utilization and cost data in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip or knee

As a feasibility study for the clinical trials of the MOA programme, we assessed the feasibility of collecting and analysing valid economic data from hospital records, GP records, and patient self-report of healthcare utilisation costs.

Principal Investigators: Dr Daniel Pinto (PhD Candidate); Associate Professor J Haxby Abbott (Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgical Sciences)

Co-Investigators: Associate Professor M Clare Robertson (Department of Medicine); Associate Professor Paul Hansen (Economics Department)

Estimating health care costs is an essential step in the economic evaluation of osteoarthritis-related treatments. We investigated the extent of agreement between a questionnaire and administrative records for capturing these costs for patients with osteoarthritis (OA).

Participants with hip and/or knee OA completed a questionnaire about their health care use over three months. We gathered equivalent data from four administrative databases. Using the kappa statistic (Κ) we assessed the extent of agreement between the methods for dichotomous (yes/no) reporting of health services. We used Bland-Altman comparisons of agreement to assess the reporting methods for systematic biases in the recording of visit quantity and costs.

We found that a patient-completed questionnaire is feasible, captures data on health care use that are in agreement with administrative databases, costs less to conduct than capturing data from administrative databases, and therefore can be recommended for capturing societal costs for patients with hip and/or knee OA.


HRCThis research was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.


Pinto D, Robertson MC, Hansen P, Abbott JH. Good agreement between questionnaire and administrative databases for health care use and costs in patients with osteoarthritis. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011;11:45. doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-45


Department of Surgical SciencesOrthopaedic Surgery University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine