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Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 14, Issue 2, 2011. Pages: 87-93
Published Online: 30 June 2011

Copyright © 2011 ICMPE.


 

Costs for Patients with Psychotic Illness: Differences Depending upon State of Remission

Catharina Hjortsberg,1 Lars Helldin,2,3 Fredrik Hjärthag,2,3 Mickael Löthgren4

1IHE, The Swedish Institute for Health Economics Lund, Sweden
2NU-Health Care, Trollhättan, Sweden
3Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden
4Janssen-Cilag, Stockholm, Sweden

* Correspondence to: Catharina Hjortsberg, IHE, The Swedish Institute for Health Economics, P.O. Box 2127, SE-220 02 Lund, Sweden.
Tel.: +46-46-32 9100
Fax: +46-46-12 1604
E-mail: ch@ihe.se

Source of Funding: The study was financed by Janssen-Cilag AB, Sweden. Mickael Löthgren is an employee of Janssen-Cilag AB, Sweden.

Abstract

Psychotic illnesses are expensive to society, still nothing is known about the differences in costs between patients depending on disease severity (state of remission). The aim was to estimate the total costs for a defined patient population with psychotic illness in Sweden, and demonstrate differences in direct costs depending on disease severity. Resource use was captured for 199 patients during one year, 2007. Patients in steady state of remission had lower direct costs compared to other patients. Moreover, the size of the various cost items differed between patients’ depending on state of remission. We find that patients suffering from psychotic illness have varying costs depending on disease severity. This study indicates that if patients can be kept in remission direct costs will decrease. Moreover are allocation has taken place the last 15 years, between different cost items, from in-patient care at hospitals to out-patient care and assistance at home.

 

Background: Psychotic illnesses have a substantial economic burden on patients, family members, friends, and society in general, still there have been limited attempts to estimate the costs associated with this condition. Moreover, nothing is known about the differences in costs between patients depending on disease severity, i.e. state of remission.

Aim: Estimate the direct and indirect costs for a defined patient population with psychotic illness in Sweden, and demonstrate differences in direct costs depending on disease severity (state of remission).

Materials and Methods: The cost analyses are based on data from the Clinical Long-term Investigation of Psychosis in Sweden (CLIPS), which is an ongoing, single-centre, epidemiological study. Resource use and disease severity were captured for the patients during one year, 2007. Total costs per patients are estimated and cost differences between patients, depending on state of remission, are considered.

Results: 199 patients with a mean age of 51 (63% men) were followed for 12 months. They had a mean of 6.4 inpatient-days, 1.4 physician visits, 18.6 nurse visits, 1.2 counsellor visits and 6.3 visits to other staff including tests and diagnostic procedures per patient- year. The mean total cost (direct and indirect) amounted to 62,500 per patient and year. Patients in steady state of remission had lower direct costs compared to other patients. Moreover, the size of the various cost items differed between patients' depending on state of remission. Patients in steady remission had almost no inpatient costs.

Discussion: For a comprehensive assessment of treatment of psychotic illnesses it is necessary to provide evidence of the costs related to disease severity. We find that patients suffering from psychotic illness have varying costs depending on their disease severity, and this study indicates that if patients can be kept in remission direct costs will decrease. We can also confirm that reallocation has taken place the last 15 years, between different cost items, from in-patient care at hospitals to out-patient care and assistance at home.

Limitations: Information about informal care was collected from patients and not from informal carers themselves.

Implications for Health Care Provision and Use: Costs have been reallocated from in-patient care to costs for assistance at home, which is a reflection of the change in care of patients with mental problems that has taken place during the last 15 years. Patients in steady remission have lower costs compared to patients in steady non-remission or patients switching between the two states. A better surveillance of the disorder would lead to lower direct, as well as indirect, costs.


Received 19 August 2009; accepted 26 May 2011

Copyright 2011 ICMPE