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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 82-88

Economic burden and influencing factor analysis of outpatients with epilepsy: A cross-sectional study in Shanghai, Shanxi and Sichuan

1 School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China
2 China Association Against Epilepsy, Beijing, PR China

Correspondence Address:
Yan Guo
School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191
PR China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.223591

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Objective: To better understand the economic burden of patients with epilepsy receiving outpatient services in China and to analyze potential factors influencing epileptic economic burden through a cross-sectional study. Methods: Using a self-designed questionnaire, we collected information retrospectively from 754 patients with epilepsy evaluated in neurology clinics in Shanghai Municipality, Shanxi Province and Sichuan Province. Descriptive analyses were used after cost variables were presented as logarithms, and multiple linear regressions were performed to explore influencing factors. Results: Fifty percent of the investigated patients experienced an epilepsy attack before the age of 15, and 51.3% had suffered from epilepsy for more than five years. In the past year, 87.9% of patients had visited different hospitals multiple times for evaluation (40.3%) and maintenance treatment (40.7%). The total economic burden of epilepsy was US$ 1 143.2. The average direct economic burden and indirect economic burden were US$ 939.0 and US$ 110.2, respectively. Multiple linear regressions showed that patients had to bear greater economic burden if they were hospitalized, using multiple antiepileptic drugs, experiencing illness for less than 5 years, in severe seizure index or active epilepsy with drug resistance, which was statistically significant. Totally only 14.3% of patients could get reimbursement in outpatient services. Conclusions: Patients with epilepsy must present to hospitals regularly for satisfactory prognosis, which results in economic burden. Patients bear greater economic burden, especially direct medical costs, if they are newly diagnosed, experience severe seizures, or undergo multiple drug treatments that require more frequent monitoring. However, current insurance policy for outpatient services do not help reduce economic burden of patients efficiently.

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