BACKGROUND: In recent years a number of costs of stroke studies have been conducted based on incidence or prevalence and estimating costs at a given time. As there still is a need for a deeper understanding of factors influencing these costs the aim of this study was to calculate the direct and indirect costs in a younger (<65) sample of stroke patients and to explore factors affecting the costs.
METHODS: Fifty-eight patients included in a study of home rehabilitation and followed for 1 year after discharge from the rehabilitation unit, were interviewed about their use of health care services, assistance, medications and assistive devices. Costs (defined as the cost for society) were calculated. A linear regression of cost and variables of functioning, ability, community integration and health-related quality of life was done.
RESULTS: Inpatient care contributed substantially to the direct cost with a mean length of stay of 92 days. Rehabilitation during the first year constituted of an average of 28 days in day clinics, 38 physiotherapy sessions and 20 occupational therapy sessions. The total direct mean cost was 80 020 euro and the indirect cost 35 129 euro. The direct costs were influenced by the process skill (the ability to plan and perform a given task and to adapt when needed) and presence of aphasia. Indirect costs for informal care giving increased for patients with a lower health-related quality of life as well as a low score on home integration.
CONCLUSION: Costs are high in this group of young (< 65 years) stroke patients compared to other studies, partly due to the length of the stay and partly to loss of productivity.
2007. Vol. 7 (December), no 209