Background: Besides the importance of estimating the global economic impact of care for persons with dementia, there is an emerging need to identify the key factors associated with this cost. The aim of this study was to analyze associations between the cost of care in community-dwelling persons with dementia and caregiver characteristics from both the healthcare third party payer perspective and the societal perspective.
Methods: Several characteristics based on the cross-sectional data of 355 dyads of informal caregivers and persons with dementia living in Belgium were identified to include in a log-gamma generalized linear model and were used in a multiple linear regression model with bootstrapping to test robustness.
Results: The mean monthly cost of care for a community-dwelling person with dementia was estimated at € 2339 (95% CI € 2133 - € 2545) per person from a societal perspective and at € 968 (95% CI € 825 - € 1111) per person from a third party payer viewpoint. Informal care accounted for the majority of the monthly costs from the societal perspective. Community based healthcare resource use represented the largest cost from the third party perspective. According to the regression analyses, a higher level of functional dependency of the person with dementia and a higher educational level of the caregiver were associated with a higher monthly cost from both a third party payer perspective and a societal perspective. In addition, being retired and a higher quality of life in the caregivers were associated with a lower monthly cost of care from the societal perspective.
Conclusions: Several characteristics of the caregiver and the person with dementia were associated with the monthly costs of care from a third party payer and a societal perspective. Despite the lack of clear causal relationships, the results of this study can assist policy makers in planning and financing future dementia care.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02630446, December 15, 2015.
Keywords: Community-dwelling; Dementia; Healthcare costs; Resource use.