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Women with comorbid substance dependence and psychiatric disorders in Sweden: a longitudinal study of hospital care utilization and costs
Department of Social Work, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7351-9140
Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 224Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Substance use disorders are regarded as one of the most prevalent, deadly and costly of health problems. Research has consistently found that the prevalence of other psychiatric disorders among those with substance related disorders is substantial. Combined, these disorders lead to considerable disability and health years lost worldwide as well as extraordinary societal costs. Relatively little of the literature on substance dependence and its impact on healthcare utilization and associated costs has focused specifically on chronic drug users, adolescents or women. In addition, the research that has been conducted relies largely on self-reported data and does not provide long-term estimates of hospital care utilization. The purpose of this study is to describe the long-term (24-32 year) healthcare utilization and it's associated costs for a nationally representative cohort of chronic substance abusing women (adults and adolescents) remanded to compulsory care between 1997-2000 (index episode). As such, this is the first study investigating healthcare costs for women in compulsory treatment in Sweden.

Methods: Women (n∈=∈227) remanded to compulsory care for substance abuse were assessed at intake and their hospital care utilization was retrieved 5-years post compulsory care from national records. Unit costs for ICD-10 diagnoses were applied to all hospital care used from 1975-2006. Attempts are made to estimate productivity losses associated with hospitalization and premature death.

Results: Upon clinical assessment it was found that a majority of these women had a comorbid psychiatric disorder (primarily personality disorder). The women followed in this study were admitted to hospital five to six times that of the general population and had stays six to eight times that of the general population. Total direct healthcare costs per person over the study period averaged approximately $173,000 and was primarily the result of psychiatric department visits (71%) and inpatient treatment (98.5 %; detoxification and short-term rehabilitation).

Conclusions: Women placed in compulsory care use more hospital resources than that of the general Swedish population and when compared to international research of hospital care use and substance abuse. Direct hospital costs vary greatly over the life course. Effective services can have significant economic benefit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2015. Vol. 15, no 1, article id 224
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58873DOI: 10.1186/s12913-015-0873-5ISI: 000356215000001PubMedID: 26048811Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85018148204OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-58873DiVA, id: diva2:1710063
Available from: 2022-11-10 Created: 2022-11-10 Last updated: 2022-11-16Bibliographically approved

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