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Chronic pain in an elderly population in Sweden: Impact on costs and quality of life
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Health Care Analysis. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Heart and Medicine Center, Allergy Center.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Pain and Rehabilitation Center.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Health Care Analysis. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Health Care Analysis. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Chronic pain among elderly people has long been a well-known problem, in terms of both societal costs and the quality of life of affected individuals. To estimate the magnitude of the problems associated with chronic pain in an elderly population, data on both costs and quality of life were gathered. A postal questionnaire was sent out to a stratified sample of 10 000 inhabitants 65 years and older in Linköping and Norrköping. The survey included questions on demographics, habits, and life situation, and different kinds of questions and instruments related to well-being (e.g., quality-of-life and pain-specific questions). In the questionnaire respondents were asked whether they were receiving any help—informal care—from a relative. If they answered yes, they were asked for permission to contact the informal caregiver and to provide contact details. The amount of informal care provided by relatives to persons with chronic pain was investigated by use of a questionnaire directed to the caregiving relatives, containing questions about time spent providing informal care.

Data on costs were collected from registers of consumption of health care, drugs, and municipal services.

The results of the study showed a very clear association between existence and severity of chronic pain and societal costs. The study population was subdivided into three groups with respect to having chronic pain or not, and a pain intensity during the last week of 0–4 (mild), 5–7 (moderate), or 8–10 (severe) on a scale of 0–10. Taking all costs (health care, drugs, municipal services, and informal care) into account, persons in the severe chronic pain group consumed on average 72% more resources than persons in the moderate chronic pain group and 143% more than those in the no or mild chronic pain group. Differences were most pronounced concerning municipal services and informal care costs.

Even more alarming are the results on the quality of life of persons in the different groups. On the EQ-5D index, the average value for persons in the no or mild chronic pain group was 0.82. For those in the moderate chronic pain group the average value was 0.64, and for those in the severe chronic pain group the average value was only 0.38. EQ-VAS resulted in less pronounced but still clearly significant differences.

It is concluded that this study, reaching a rather large part of the target population, shows that existence and severity of chronic pain among people 65 years and older affects costs to society and the quality of life of affected individuals in a massive way.

Abstract [sv]

Kronisk smärta bland äldre är sedan länge ett välkänt problem, både i termer av samhälleliga kostnader och i termer av nedsatt livskvalitet hos drabbade individer. I syfte att uppskatta omfattningen av problemen med kronisk smärta i den äldre befolkningen insamlades data avseende såväl kostnader som livskvalitet. Ett frågeformulär sändes med post ut till ett stratifierat urval om 10 000 invånare 65 år och äldre i Linköpings och Norrköpings kommuner. Frågeformuläret innehöll frågor om demografi, levnadsvanor, livssituation samt olika frågor och instrument relaterade till personernas mående (t.ex. livskvalitet och smärtspecifika frågor). I frågeformuläret tillfrågades respondenterna om huruvida de mottog någon hjälp, informell vård, från någon närstående. Om så var fallet tillfrågades respondenten om tillstånd att kontakta dennes informella vårdgivare, samt kontaktuppgifter. Mängden informell vård tillhandahållen av närstående undersöktes med hjälp av ett frågeformulär innehållande frågor om tid som använts till informella vårdinsatser.

Uppgifter om kostnader inhämtades från register avseende konsumtion av sjukvård, läkemedel och kommunala insatser.

Studiens resultat visade på ett mycket tydligt samband mellan å ena sidan förekomst och grad av kronisk smärta och å andra sidan samhälleliga kostnader. Studiepopulationen delades in i tre grupper med avseende på kronisk smärta eller inte, och smärtintensitet på en 10-gradig skala under den senaste veckan (0–4 = lindrig, 5–7 = måttlig, 8–10 = svår). Med hänsyn tagen till alla kostnader (sjukvård, läkemedel, kommunal service och informell vård) konsumerade personerna med svår kronisk smärta i snitt 72% mer resurser än personerna med måttlig kronisk smärta, och 143% mer än personer med ingen eller lindrig kronisk smärta. Skillnaderna var tydligast avseende kommunala insatser och informell vård.

Ännu mer uppseendeväckande är resultaten gällande livskvalitet för personer i de olika grupperna. Genomsnittligt indexvärde utifrån EQ-5D var för personer med ingen eller lindrig kronisk smärta 0.82. För personer med måttlig kronisk smärta var motsvarande värde 0.64, och för personer med svår kronisk smärta var värdet 0.38. EQ-VAS resulterade i mindre uttalade men tydligt signifikanta skillnader.

Denna studie, som når en relativt stor andel av målpopulationen, visar att förekomst och intensitet av kronisk smärta bland personer 65 år och äldre påverkar samhälleliga kostnader och drabbade personers livskvalitet mycket tydligt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 32 p.
Series
CMT Report, ISSN 0283-1228 (print), 1653-7556 (online) ; 2015:2
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117729ISRN: CMT RA/1502Libris ID: 18142014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-117729DiVA: diva2:810599
Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-05-07 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved

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