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The cost of community-managed viral respiratory illnesses in a cohort of healthy preschool-aged children

Lambert, Stephen B., Allen, Kelly M., Carter, Robert C. and Nolan, Terence M. 2008, The cost of community-managed viral respiratory illnesses in a cohort of healthy preschool-aged children, Respiratory research, vol. 9, no. 11, pp. 1-11.

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Title The cost of community-managed viral respiratory illnesses in a cohort of healthy preschool-aged children
Author(s) Lambert, Stephen B.
Allen, Kelly M.
Carter, Robert C.
Nolan, Terence M.
Journal name Respiratory research
Volume number 9
Issue number 11
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2008-01
ISSN 1465-9921
Keyword(s) ambulatory care
cost of illness
influenza
preschool child
respiratory tract infection
virus infection
respiratory syncytial virus infections
Summary Background : Acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) during childhood are often caused by respiratory viruses, result in significant morbidity, and have associated costs for families and society. Despite their ubiquity, there is a lack of interdisciplinary epidemiologic and economic research that has collected primary impact data, particularly associated with indirect costs, from families during ARIs in children.
Methods : We conducted a 12-month cohort study in 234 preschool children with impact diary recording and PCR testing of nose-throat swabs for viruses during an ARI. We used applied values to estimate a virus-specific mean cost of ARIs.
Results : Impact diaries were available for 72% (523/725) of community-managed illnesses between January 2003 and January 2004. The mean cost of ARIs was AU$309 (95% confidence interval $263 to $354). Influenza illnesses had a mean cost of $904, compared with RSV, $304, the next most expensive single-virus illness, although confidence intervals overlapped. Mean carer time away from usual activity per day was two hours for influenza ARIs and between 30 and 45 minutes for all other ARI categories.
Conclusion : From a societal perspective, community-managed ARIs are a significant cost burden on families and society. The point estimate of the mean cost of community-managed influenza illnesses in healthy preschool aged children is three times greater than those illnesses caused by RSV and other respiratory viruses. Indirect costs, particularly carer time away from usual activity, are the key cost drivers for ARIs in children. The use of parent-collected specimens may enhance ARI surveillance and reduce any potential Hawthorne effect caused by compliance with study procedures. These findings reinforce the need for further integrated epidemiologic and economic research of ARIs in children to allow for comprehensive cost-effectiveness assessments of preventive and therapeutic options.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 110203 Respiratory Diseases
Socio Economic Objective 920115 Respiratory System and Diseases (incl. Asthma)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2008, Lambert et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017382

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.