Objective: To estimate net costs of dementia by degree of severity from a societal perspective, including a detailed assessment of costs of formal and informal nursing care.
Method: In a cross-sectional study, costs of illness were analysed in 176 dementia patients and 173 matched non-demented control subjects. Healthcare resource use and costs were assessed retrospectively by means of a questionnaire. Dementia patients were classified into three disease stages, and linear regression models were applied to estimate net costs of dementia by degree of severity.
Results: Annual net costs of dementia by stage were approximately €15 000 (mild), €32 000 (moderate) and €42 000 (severe), corresponding to US-$21 450, 45 760 and 60 060 respectively. Across disease stages, nursing care accounted for approximately three-quarters of total costs, of which half resulted from informal care. In sensitivity analyses using different valuation methods for nursing care, total costs decreased or increased by more than 20%.
Conclusion: Net costs more than double across stages of dementia. Informal care accounts for a considerable share of nursing care costs, and the approach to valuation of informal care has a large impact on cost-of-illness estimates.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.