Objective: To estimate indirect costs in Spanish ambulatory patients with HIV/AIDS and to identify changes in employment status and their current QOL.
Method: Information was obtained through 32 interviews/enquiries carried out with ambulatory patients receiving medical attention at Gregorio Marañón and Puerta de Hierro hospitals in Madrid, Spain. The study variables included information on sociodemographics, economics, and clinical and QOL (EuroQol instrument; EQ-5D) parameters of these patients.
Results: Our main result showed the existence of high indirect costs (lost income and lost wages; 2002 values) at the individual level. We identified a strong effect in terms of income loss (the annual loss of income ranged between Euro 5271 and Euro 6150 per patient) and lost wages (the annual loss of wages ranged between Euro 7537 and Euro 8793 per patient). We also observed a strong impact on household income (the annual loss of household income ranged between Euro 6693 and Euro 7813). There was a great variability in these costs among the patients depending on their QOL, gender and education. We detected a statistically significant and positive correlation between QOL and having a job.
Conclusions: We observed a high level of QOL among the patients, which reflects the potential benefits of pharmacological treatment. We found that the better the QOL, the higher the probability of being employed. However, indirect costs were high among patients despite their good QOL.