[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To formulate sustainable long-term care policies, it is critical first to understand the relationship between informal care and formal care expenditure. The aim of this paper is to examine to what extent informal care reduces public expenditure on elderly care.
Data from a geriatric rehabilitation program conducted in Finland (Age Study, n = 732) were used to estimate the annual public care expenditure on elderly care. We first constructed hierarchical multilevel regression models to determine the factors associated with elderly care expenditure. Second, we calculated the adjusted mean costs of care in four care patterns: 1) informal care only for elderly living alone; 2) informal care only from a co-resident family member; 3) a combination of formal and informal care; and 4) formal care only. We included functional independence and health-related quality of life (15D score) measures into our models. This method standardizes the care needs of a heterogeneous subject group and enabled us to compare expenditure among various care categories even when differences were observed in the subjects' physical health.
Elder care that consisted of formal care only had the highest expenditure at 25,300 Euros annually. The combination of formal and informal care had an annual expenditure of 22,300 Euros. If a person received mainly informal care from a co-resident family member, then the annual expenditure was only 4,900 Euros and just 6,000 Euros for a person living alone and receiving informal care.
Our analysis of a frail elderly Finnish population shows that the availability of informal care considerably reduces public care expenditure. Therefore, informal care should be taken into account when formulating policies for long-term care. The process whereby families choose to provide care for their elderly relatives has a significant impact on long-term care expenditure.
BMC Health Services Research 08/2013; 13(1):317. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Universal access is one of the major aims in public health and social care. Services should be provided on the basis of individual needs. However, municipal autonomy and the fragmentation of services may jeopardize universal access and lead to variation between municipalities in the delivery of services. This paper aims to identify patient-level characteristics and municipality-level service patterns that may have an influence on the use and costs of health and social services of frail elderly patients.
Hierarchical analysis was applied to estimate the effects of patient and municipality-level variables on services utilization.
The variation in the use of health care services was entirely due to patient-related variables, whereas in the social services, 9% of the variation was explained by the municipality-level and 91% by the patient-level characteristics. Health-related quality of life explained a major part of variation in the costs of health care services. Those who had reported improvement in their health status during the preceding year were more frequent users of social care services. Low informal support, poor functional status and poor instrumental activities of daily living, living at a residential home, and living alone were associated with higher social services expenditure.
The results of this study showed municipality-level variation in the utilization of social services, whereas health care services provided for frail elderly people seem to be highly equitable across municipalities. Another important finding was that the utilization of social and health services were connected. Those who reported improvement in their health status during the preceding year were more frequently also using social services. This result suggests that if municipalities continue to limit the provision of support services only for those who are in the highest need, this saving in the social sector may, in the long run, result in increased costs of health care.
BMC Health Services Research 07/2012; 12:204. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Previous studies indicate an association between tobacco smoking and infectious diseases. However, large population-based follow-up studies including both accurate measurements of smoking behaviour and confounders and a reliable register-based follow-up of infections are lacking. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of smoking on use of antibacterials as an indicator of infections among working-aged population. METHODS: The participants of the population-based Health and Social Support Study (24 283 working-aged Finns) were followed up for 9 years. Information on smoking behaviour and confounders was obtained from a questionnaire in 1998. Number of antibacterial purchases was obtained from the National-Drug-Prescription-Register. The association between smoking and use of antibacterials was analysed using multinomial regression models. RESULTS: A graded association between lifetime smoking as measured by pack-years and use of antibacterials was found. Compared with never-smokers, the age-adjusted OR for multiple use of antibacterials among smokers with 12 or more pack-years was 2.32 (95% CI 1.91 to 2.82) in women and 1.45 (95% CI 1.23 to 1.71) in men. The associations remained after adjustment for the following confounding factors: use of alcohol, body mass index, physical activity, socioeconomic status, hard physical work, life satisfaction, disability pension and dyspnoea. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is associated with increased use of antibacterials. Infectious periods experienced by patients should be used as an opportunity to encourage smoking cessation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: No previous studies on the association of smoking behaviour with disability retirement due to register verified chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exist. This 30-yr follow-up study examined how strongly aspects of cigarette smoking predict disability retirement due to COPD. The study population consisted of 24,043 adult Finnish twins (49.7% females) followed from 1975 to 2004. At baseline the participants had responded to a questionnaire. Information on retirement was obtained from the Finnish pension registers. Smoking strongly predicted disability retirement due to COPD. In comparison to never-smokers, age adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for current smokers was 22.0 (95% CI 10.0-48.5) and for smokers with ≥ 12 pack-yrs was 27.3 (95% CI 12.6-59.5). Similar estimates of risk were observed in within-pair analyses of twin pairs discordant for disability retirement due to COPD. Among discordant monozygotic pairs those with disability pension due to COPD were more often current smokers. The effect of early smoking onset (< 18 yrs) on the risk of disability retirement due to COPD remained after adjustment for the amount smoked (HR 1.70, 95% CI 1.08-2.68). Smoking strongly predicts disability retirement due to COPD. Preventive measures against disability retirement and other harmful consequences of tobacco smoking should receive greater emphasis.
European Respiratory Journal 01/2011; 37(1):26-31. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cost-effectiveness of a geriatric rehabilitation programme.
Economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial.
A total of 741 subjects with progressively decreasing functional ability and unspecific morbidity were randomly assigned to either an inpatient rehabilitation programme (intervention group) or standard care (control group). The difference between the mean cost per person for 12 months' care in the rehabilitation and control groups (incremental cost) and the ratio between incremental cost and effectiveness were calculated. Clinical outcomes were functional ability (Functional Independence Measure (FIM(TM))) and health-related quality of life (15D score).
The FIM(TM) score decreased by 3.41 (standard deviation 6.7) points in intervention group and 4.35 (standard deviation 8.0) in control group (p = 0.0987). The decrease in the 15D was equal in both groups. The mean incremental cost of adding rehabilitation to standard care was 3111 euros per person. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for FIMTM did not show any clinically significant change, and the rehabilitation was more costly than standard care. A cost-effectiveness acceptability curve suggests that if decision-makers were willing to pay 4000 euros for a 1-point improvement in FIMTM, the rehabilitation would be cost-effective with 70% certainty.
The rehabilitation programme was not cost-effective compared with standard care, and further development of outpatient protocols may be advisable.
Journal of rehabilitation medicine: official journal of the UEMS European Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 11/2010; 42(10):949-55. · 1.88 Impact Factor