Background: Post-stroke healthcare consumption is strongly associated with a mental health diagnosis. This study aimed to identify stroke patients who utilised mental healthcare facilities, explored their mental healthcare consumption pre-stroke and post-stroke, and examined possible predictors of costs incurred by mental healthcare consumption post-stroke.
Methods: Three databases were integrated, namely the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC) Medical Administration, the Stroke Registry from the Department of Neurology at MUMC, and the Psychiatric Case Registry South-Limburg. Patients from the MUMC who suffered their first-ever stroke between January 1 2000 and December 31 2004 were included and their records were analysed for mental healthcare consumption from 5 years preceding to 5 years following their stroke (1995-2009). Regression analysis was conducted to identify possible predictors of mental healthcare consumption costs.
Results: A total of 1385 patients were included and 357 (25.8%) received services from a mental healthcare facility during the 10-year reference period around their stroke. The costs of mental healthcare usage increased over time and peaked 1 year post-stroke (€7057; 22% of total mental healthcare costs). The number of hospitalisation days and mental healthcare consumption pre-stroke were significant predictors of mental healthcare costs. Explained variances of these models (costs during the 5 years post-stroke: R 2 = 15.5%, costs across a 10 year reference period: R 2 = 4.6%,) were low.
Conclusion: Stroke patients have a significant level of mental healthcare comorbidity leading to relatively high mental healthcare costs. There is a relationship between stroke and mental healthcare consumption costs, but results concerning the underlying factors responsible for these costs are inconclusive.
Keywords: Economic impact of stroke; Healthcare consumption; Record linkage study; Stroke.