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Country-specific data on resource use and costs associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) help inform governments about the increasing need for medical and financial support as the disease increases in prevalence.
GERAS II, a prospective observational study, assessed resource use, costs, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with AD and their caregivers in Spain. Community-dwelling patients aged ≥55 years with probable AD, and their primary caregivers, were recruited by study investigators during routine clinical practice and assessed as having mild, moderate, or moderately severe/severe (MS/S) AD dementia based on patient Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Costs of AD were calculated by applying costs to resource-use data obtained in caregiver interviews using the Resource Utilization in Dementia instrument. Total societal costs included patients’ health and social care costs and caregiver informal care costs. Baseline results are presented.
Total mean monthly societal costs/patient (2013 values) were €1514 for mild (n = 116), €2082 for moderate (n = 118), and €2818 for MS/S AD dementia (n = 146) (p value <0.001 between groups). Caregiver informal care costs comprised most of the total societal costs and differed significantly between groups (€1050, €1239, €1580, respectively; p value = 0.013), whereas patient healthcare costs did not. Across AD dementia severity groups, patient HRQoL (measured by proxy) decreased significantly (p value <0.001), caregiver subjective burden significantly increased (p value <0.001) and caregiver HRQoL was similar.
Societal costs associated with AD in Spain were largely attributable to caregiver informal care costs and increased with increasing AD dementia severity.
We aimed to obtain a better understanding of how different aspects of patient functioning affect key cost and caregiver outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Baseline data from a prospective observational study of community-living AD patients (GERAS) were used. Functioning was assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study – Activities of Daily Living Scale. Generalized linear models were conducted to analyze the relationship between scores for total activities of daily living (ADL), basic ADL (BADL), instrumental ADL (IADL), ADL subdomains (confirmed through factor analysis) and individual ADL questions, and total societal costs, patient healthcare and social care costs, total and supervision caregiver time, and caregiver burden.
Four distinct ADL subdomains were confirmed: basic activities, domestic/household activities, communication, and outside activities. Higher total societal costs were associated with impairments in all aspects of ADL, including all subdomains; patient costs were associated with total ADL and BADL, and basic activities subdomain scores. Both total and supervision caregiver hours were associated with total ADL and IADL scores, and domestic/household and outside activities subdomain scores (greater hours associated with greater functional impairments). There was no association between caregiver burden and BADL or basic activities subdomain scores. The relationship between total ADL, IADL, and the outside activities subdomain and outcomes differed between patients with mild and moderate-to-severe AD.
Identification of ADL subdomains may lead to a better understanding of the association between patient function and costs and caregiver outcomes at different stages of AD, in particular the outside activities subdomain within mild AD.
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