Informal care for stroke survivors. Results from the North East Melbourne stroke incidence study (NEMESIS)

Dewey, H. M., Thrift, A. G., Mihalopoulos, Cathy, Carter, Rob, Macdonell, R. A. L., McNeil, J. J. and Donnan, G. A. 2002, Informal care for stroke survivors. Results from the North East Melbourne stroke incidence study (NEMESIS), Stroke, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 1028-1033.

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Title Informal care for stroke survivors. Results from the North East Melbourne stroke incidence study (NEMESIS)
Author(s) Dewey, H. M.
Thrift, A. G.
Mihalopoulos, Cathy
Carter, Rob
Macdonell, R. A. L.
McNeil, J. J.
Donnan, G. A.
Journal name Stroke
Volume number 33
Issue number 4
Start page 1028
End page 1033
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2002-04
ISSN 0039-2499
1524-4628
Keyword(s) Australia
caregivers
cerebrovascular disorders
costs and cost analysis
incidence
Summary Background and Purpose-: Informal caregivers play an important role in the lives of stroke patients, but the cost of providing this care has not been estimated. The purpose of this study was to determine the nature and amount of informal care provided to stroke patients and to estimate the economic cost of that care.

Methods-:
The primary caregivers of stroke patients registered in the North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study (NEMESIS) were interviewed at 3, 6, and 12 months after stroke, and the nature and amount of informal care provided were documented. The opportunity and replacement costs of informal care for all first-ever-in-a-lifetime strokes (excluding subarachnoid hemorrhages) that occurred in 1997 in Australia were estimated.

Results-:
Among 3-month stroke survivors, 74% required assistance with activities of daily living and received informal care from family or friends. Two thirds of primary caregivers were women, and most primary caregivers (>90%) provided care during family or leisure time. Total first-year caregiver time costs for all first-ever-in-a-lifetime strokes were estimated to be A$21.7 million (opportunity cost approach) or A$42.5 million (replacement cost approach), and the present values of lifetime caregiver time costs were estimated to be A$171.4 million (opportunity cost approach) or A$331.8 million (replacement cost approach).

Conclusions-: Informal care for stroke survivors represents a significant hidden cost to Australian society. Because our community is rapidly aging, this informal care burden may increase significantly in the future.
Language eng
Field of Research 110904 Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, American Heart Association, Inc.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006546

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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