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Maternal depression is a notable concern, yet little evidence exists on its economic burden in low- and middle-income countries.
This study assessed societal costs and economic outcomes across pregnancy to 12 months postpartum comparing women with depression with those without depression. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01977326 (registered on 24 October 2013); Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (www.pactr.org): PACTR201403000676264 (registered on 11 October 2013).
Participants were recruited during the first antenatal visit to primary care clinics in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. In total, 2187 women were screened, and 419 women who were psychologically distressed were retained in the study. Women were interviewed at baseline, 8 months gestation and at 3 and 12 months postpartum; the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was used to categorise women as having depression or not having depression at each interview. Collected data included sociodemographics; health service costs; user fees; opportunity costs of accessing care; and travelling expenses for the women and their child(ren). Using Markov modelling, the incremental economic burden of maternal depression was estimated across the period.
At 12 months postpartum, women with depression were significantly more likely to be unemployed, to have lower per capita household income, to incur catastrophic costs and to be in a poorer socioeconomic group than those women without depression. Costs were higher for women with depression and their child(ren) at all time points. Modelled provider costs were US$805 among women without depression versus US$1303 in women with depression.
Economic costs and outcomes were worse in perinatal women with depression. The development of interventions to reduce this burden is therefore of significant policy importance.
Familial caregivers are providing increasing amounts of care to advanced cancer patients. Increased understanding of caregivers’ needs is vital in providing necessary support to lessen caregiver burden and morbidity. Current literature has identified caregiver and patient needs at broad stages of the cancer trajectory; however, such broad stages may be too general to inform a practice of targeting specific interventions when they have the greatest utility. This study examines a variety of particular needs across a number of more discrete illness-related transition experiences specifically in the advanced cancer disease trajectory.
One hundred fifty-nine female informal caregivers of people with advanced cancer completed a needs assessment survey.
Analyses of these cross-sectional retrospective-report data reveal that cancer caregiver needs vary across specific key experiences occurring within the broader stages of illness identified by current literature. Furthermore, caregivers have unique needs during bereavement.
Significance of results:
Although the sample characteristics are demographically limited, this study provides preliminary evidence that the broad stages are not specific enough increments for effectively examining caregiver needs and supports the need for more precise distribution of cancer-related information at more discrete times in the illness course.
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