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HTA of Deep Brain Stimulation

Status: Published on

The Authority undertook a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of deep brain stimulation following a request from the HSE. The assessment was completed and submitted as advice to the HSE.


The HTA was carried out to inform a decision regarding the provision of a deep brain stimulation service for adults with movement disorders in Ireland compared with the current method of service delivery (via the Treatment Abroad Scheme).


At present, patients who require this treatment are referred to neurosurgical centres outside of Ireland (primarily the UK) for surgery and follow-up care, with funding being provided through the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS).


The HTA examined the likely demand for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) services for eligible adults with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor, as well as the resources and structures required to establish a high quality national DBS service within the Irish healthcare system. The implications for patients of changing the way DBS services are provided were assessed, and the wider ethical and organisational issues associated with the provision of DBS services reviewed. An economic evaluation and budget impact assessment were also carried out, comparing the cost of a national DBS programme with continuing to fund this treatment through the TAS.