A review of simulation models for the long-term management of type 2 diabetes in low-and-middle income countries

Journal Article


Journal Title

BMC Health Services Research

Journal ISSN
Volume Title

BioMed Central

Abstract Introduction The burden of type 2 diabetes is steadily increasing in low-and-middle-income countries, thereby posing a major threat from both a treatment, and funding standpoint. Although simulation modelling is generally relied upon for evaluating long-term costs and consequences associated with diabetes interventions, no recent article has reviewed the characteristics and capabilities of available models used in low-and-middle-income countries. We review the use of computer simulation modelling for the management of type 2 diabetes in low-and-middle-income countries. Methods A search for studies reporting computer simulation models of the natural history of individuals with type 2 diabetes and/or decision models to evaluate the impact of treatment strategies on these populations was conducted in PubMed. Data were extracted following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and assessed using modelling checklists. Publications before the year 2000, from high-income countries, studies involving animals and analyses that did not use mathematical simulations were excluded. The full text of eligible articles was sourced and information about the intervention and population being modelled, type of modelling approach and the model structure was extracted. Results Of the 79 articles suitable for full text review, 44 studies met the inclusion criteria. All were cost-effectiveness/utility studies with the majority being from the East Asia and Pacific region (n = 29). Of the included studies, 34 (77.3%) evaluated the cost-effectiveness of pharmacological interventions and approximately 75% of all included studies used HbA1c as one of the treatment effects of the intervention. 32 (73%) of the publications were microsimulation models, and 29 (66%) were state-transition models. Most of the studies utilised annual cycles (n = 29, 71%), and accounted for costs and outcomes over 20 years or more (n = 38, 86.4%). Conclusions While the use of simulation modelling in the management of type 2 diabetes has been steadily increasing in low-and-middle-income countries, there is an urgent need to invest in evaluating therapeutic and policy interventions related to type 2 diabetes in low-and-middle-income countries through simulation modelling, especially with local research data. Moreover, it is important to improve transparency and credibility in the reporting of input data underlying model-based economic analyses, and studies.