The health care utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure associated with asthma amongst a sample of Australian women aged over 45 years: analysis from the '45 and up' study.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma, 2020, pp. 1-9
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45 and Up - JAsthma_Manuscript Revision_04.03.2020.docxAccepted version71.53 kB
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Objective: This study aims to describe the prevalence of health care utilization (including conventional medicine, self-care and complementary medicine treatments) for the management of asthma by women aged 45 years and over and their associated out-of-pocket expenditure.Methods: A self-reported mail survey of 375 Australian women, a cohort of the national 45 and Up Study, reporting a clinical diagnosis of asthma. The women were asked about their use of health care resources including conventional medicine, complementary medicine, and self-prescribed treatments for asthma and their associated out-of-pocket spending. Spearman's correlation coefficient, student's t-test and chi-square test were used as appropriate. Population level costs were created by extrapolating the costs reported by participants by available national prevalence data.Results: Survey respondents (N = 375; response rate, 46.9%) were, on average, 67.0 years old (min 53, max 91). The majority (69.1%; n = 259) consulted at least one health care practitioner in the previous 12 months for their asthma. Most of the participants (n = 247; 65.9%) reported using at least one prescription medication for asthma in the previous 12 months. The total out-of-pocket expenditure on asthma treatment for Australian women aged 50 years and over is estimated to be AU$159 million per annum.Conclusions: The breadth of conventional and complementary medicine health care services reported in this study, as well as the range of treatments that patients self-prescribe, highlights the challenges of coordinating care for individuals living with asthma.
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