Impact of depression on health care utilization and costs among multimorbid patients : from the MultiCare Cohort Study

  • Objective: The objective of this study was to describe and analyze the effects of depression on health care utilization and costs in a sample of multimorbid elderly patients. Method: This cross-sectional analysis used data of a prospective cohort study, consisting of 1,050 randomly selected multimorbid primary care patients aged 65 to 85 years. Depression was defined as a score of six points or more on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). Subjects passed a geriatric assessment, including a questionnaire for health care utilization. The impact of depression on health care costs was analyzed using multiple linear regression models. A societal perspective was adopted. Results: Prevalence of depression was 10.7%. Mean total costs per six-month period were €8,144 (95% CI: €6,199-€10,090) in patients with depression as compared to €3,137 (95% CI: €2,735-€3,538; p<0.001) in patients without depression. The positive association between depression and total costs persisted after controlling for socio-economic variables, functional status and level of multimorbidity. In particular, multiple regression analyses showed a significant positive association between depression and pharmaceutical costs. Conclusion: Among multimorbid elderly patients, depression was associated with significantly higher health care utilization and costs. The effect of depression on costs was even greater than reported by previous studies conducted in less morbid patients.

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Author:Jens-Oliver Bock, Melanie Luppa, Christian Brettschneider, Steffi Gerlinde Riedel-Heller, Horst Bickel, Angela Fuchs, Jochen GensichenORCiDGND, Wolfgang Maier, Karola MergenthalGND, Ingmar SchäferGND, Gerhard SchönORCiDGND, Siegfried Weyerer, Birgitt Wiese, Hendrik van den Bussche, Martin Scherer, Hans-Helmut König
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2014/03/17
Date of first Publication:2014/03/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/03/21
Page Number:9
Copyright: © 2014 Bock et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0