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Burden of epilepsy: a prevalence-based cost of illness study of direct, indirect and intangible costs for epilepsy

Version 2 2024-06-04, 03:59
Version 1 2015-08-17, 14:27
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 03:59 authored by Lan GaoLan Gao, L Xia, SQ Pan, T Xiong, SC Li
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to gauge the burden of epilepsy in China from a societal perspective by estimating the direct, indirect and intangible costs. METHODS: Patients with epilepsy and controls were enrolled from two tertiary hospitals in China. Patients were asked to complete a Cost-of-Illness (COI), Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) questionnaires, two utility elicitation instruments and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Healthy controls only completed WTP questionnaire, and utility instruments. Univariate analyses were performed to investigate the differences in cost on the basis of different variables, while multivariate analysis was undertaken to explore the predictors of cost/cost component. RESULTS: In total, 141 epilepsy patients and 323 healthy controls were recruited. The median total cost, direct cost and indirect cost due to epilepsy were US$949.29, 501.34 and 276.72, respectively. Particularly, cost of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) (US$394.53) followed by cost of investigations (US$59.34), cost of inpatient and outpatient care (US$9.62) accounted for the majority of the direct medical costs. While patients' (US$103.77) and caregivers' productivity costs (US$103.77) constituted the major component of indirect cost. The intangible costs in terms of WTP value (US$266.07 vs. 88.22) and utility (EQ-5D, 0.828 vs. 0.923; QWB-SA, 0.657 vs. 0.802) were both substantially higher compared to the healthy subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Epilepsy is a cost intensive disease in China. According to the prognostic groups, drug-resistant epilepsy generated the highest total cost whereas patients in seizure remission had the lowest cost. AED is the most costly component of direct medical cost probably due to 83% of patients being treated by new generation of AEDs.



Epilepsy research






Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal, C Journal article

Copyright notice

2015, Elsevier