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The cost-effectiveness of the MobileMums intervention to increase physical activity among mothers with young children: a Markov model informed by a randomised controlled trial
  1. Edward Burn1,
  2. Alison L Marshall1,
  3. Yvette D Miller1,
  4. Adrian G Barnett1,
  5. Brianna S Fjeldsoe2,
  6. Nicholas Graves1
  1. 1Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Public Health and Social Work and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2The University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Edward Burn; ea.burn{at}


Objectives To determine the cost-effectiveness of the MobileMums intervention. MobileMums is a 12-week programme which assists mothers with young children to be more physically active, primarily through the use of personalised SMS text-messages.

Design A cost-effectiveness analysis using a Markov model to estimate and compare the costs and consequences of MobileMums and usual care.

Setting This study considers the cost-effectiveness of MobileMums in Queensland, Australia.

Participants A hypothetical cohort of over 36 000 women with a child under 1 year old is considered. These women are expected to be eligible and willing to participate in the intervention in Queensland, Australia.

Data sources The model was informed by the effectiveness results from a 9-month two-arm community-based randomised controlled trial undertaken in 2011 and registered retrospectively with the Australian Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000481976). Baseline characteristics for the model cohort, treatment effects and resource utilisation were all informed by this trial.

Main outcome measures The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) of MobileMums compared with usual care.

Results The intervention is estimated to lead to an increase of 131 QALYs for an additional cost to the health system of 1.1 million Australian dollars (AUD). The expected incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for MobileMums is 8608 AUD per QALY gained. MobileMums has a 98% probability of being cost-effective at a cost-effectiveness threshold of 64 000 AUD. Varying modelling assumptions has little effect on this result.

Conclusions At a cost-effectiveness threshold of 64 000 AUD, MobileMums would likely be a cost-effective use of healthcare resources in Queensland, Australia.

Trial registration number Australian Clinical Trials Registry; ACTRN12611000481976.

  • Exercise
  • Economic evaluation
  • Cost effectiveness
  • mHealth
  • behaviour change

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