The costs of traumatic brain injury due to motorcycle accidents in Hanoi, Vietnam

Cost Eff Resour Alloc. 2008 Aug 22;6:17. doi: 10.1186/1478-7547-6-17.


Background: Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in Vietnam. The purpose of this study is to estimate the costs, in the first year post-injury, of non-fatal traumatic brain injury (TBI) in motorcycle users not wearing helmets in Hanoi, Vietnam. The costs are calculated from the perspective of the injured patients and their families, and include quantification of direct, indirect and intangible costs, using years lost due to disability as a proxy.

Methods: The study was a retrospective cross-sectional study. Data on treatment and rehabilitation costs, employment and support were obtained from patients and their families using a structured questionnaire and The European Quality of Life instrument (EQ6D).

Results: Thirty-five patients and their families were interviewed. On average, patients with severe, moderate and minor TBI incurred direct costs at USD 2,365, USD 1,390 and USD 849, with time lost for normal activities averaging 54 weeks, 26 weeks and 17 weeks and years lived with disability (YLD) of 0.46, 0.25 and 0.15 year, respectively.

Conclusion: All three component costs of TBI were high; the direct cost accounted for the largest proportion, with costs rising with the severity of TBI. The results suggest that the burden of TBI can be catastrophic for families because of high direct costs, significant time off work for patients and caregivers, and impact on health-related quality of life. Further research is warranted to explore the actual social and economic benefits of mandatory helmet use.