Evidence of Spillover of Illness among Household Members: EQ-5D Scores from a US Sample

ArticleinMedical Decision Making 33(2) · October 2012with5 Reads
DOI: 10.1177/0272989X12464434 · Source: PubMed
Background/objectives: The effects of illness extend beyond the individual to caregivers and family members. This study identified evidence of spillover of illness onto household members' health-related quality of life. Methods: Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) data from 2000-2003 were analyzed using multivariable regression to identify spillover of household members' chronic conditions onto individuals' health-related quality of life as measured by the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) score (N = 24,188). Spillover was assessed by disease category, timing of occurrence (preexisting or new conditions), and age of the household member (adult or child). Results: Controlling for an individual's own health conditions and other known predictors of EQ-5D scores, the authors found that the odds of an individual reporting full health (an EQ-5D score of 1.0, relative to <1.0) were lower with the presence of existing mental (odds ratio 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.79), respiratory (0.85; 0.75-0.97), and musculoskeletal (0.83; 0.75-0.93) conditions among adults and with mental (0.72; 0.62-0.82) and respiratory (0.80; 0.81-0.96) conditions among children in the household. The odds of an individual reporting full health were also lower for newly occurring chronic conditions in the household, including adults' mental (0.79; 0.65-0.97), nervous/sensory system (0.76; 0.61-0.96), and musculoskeletal (0.78; 0.65-0.95) conditions and children's mental conditions (0.64; 0.48-0.86). EQ-5D dimensions may be unsuited to fully capture spillover utility among household members, and MEPS lacks condition severity and caregiver status among household members. Conclusions: Evidence from a US sample suggests that individuals who live with chronically ill household members have lower EQ-5D scores than those who live either alone or with healthy household members. Averting spillover effects may confer substantial additional benefit at the population level for interventions that prevent or alleviate conditions that incur such effects.
    • "While there are a lot of investigations on the effectiveness of social intervention in ameliorating behavioral pathologies, the safety of the applied intervention for healthy subject(s) involved in social enrichment has been rarely evaluated in human and animal studies. Nevertheless, long-term interaction with affected subjects could provide a negative social experience and affect the welfare and behavior of healthy family members and caregivers (Steele et al., 2010; Sadowsky and Galvin, 2012; Wittenberg et al., 2013 ). It was found that healthy siblings of children with chronic disease are at risk of developing mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety and psychosis (Sharpe and Rossiter, 2002; Arajarvi et al., 2006; O'Brien et al., 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several behavioral interventions, based on social enrichment and observational learning are applied in treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the mechanism of such modulatory effect and the safety of applied methods on individuals involved in social support need further investigation. We took advantage of known differences between inbred mouse strains to reveal the effect of social enrichment on behavior and neurobiology of animals with different behavioral phenotypes. C57BL/6 and DBA/2 female mice displaying multiple differences in cognitive, social, and emotional behavior were group-housed either in same-strain or in mixed-strain conditions. Comprehensive behavioral phenotyping and analysis of expression of several plasticity- and stress-related genes were done to measure the reciprocal effects of social interaction between the strains. Contrary to our expectation, mixed housing did not change the behavior of DBA/2 mice. Nevertheless, the level of serum corticosterone and the expression of glucocorticoid receptor Nr3c1 in the brain were increased in mixed housed DBA/2 as compared with those of separately housed DBA/2 mice. In contrast, socially active C57BL/6 animals were more sensitive to the mixed housing, displaying several signs of stress: alterations in learning, social, and anxiety-like behavior and anhedonia. These behavioral impairments were accompanied by the elevated serum corticosterone and the reduced expression of Nr3c1, as well as the elevated Bdnf levels in the cortex and hippocampus. Our results demonstrate the importance of social factors in modulation of both behavior and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms in stress response, and draw attention to the potential negative impact of social interventions for individuals involved in social support.
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