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Abstract: Large differences in cost-of-illness and well being between patients with fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain or ankylosing spondylitis

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www.ProHealth.com • July 26, 2004


Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Jul 22 [Epub ahead of print] Boonen A, Van Den Heuvel R, Van Tubergen A, Goossens M, Severens J, Van Der Heijde D, Van Der Linden S. University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the cost-of-illness of three musculoskeletal conditions in relation to general well-being.

METHODS: Patients with fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain and ankylosing spondylitis who were referred to a specialist and participated in three randomised trials, completed for the duration of the study a cost- diary comprising direct medical and non-medical resource utilisation and inability to perform paid and unpaid work. At baseline, patients rated perceived well-being (0-100). Univariate differences in costs between the groups were estimated by bootstrapping. Regression analyses assessed which variables, in addition to the condition contributed to costs.

RESULTS: 70 patients with fibromyalgia, 110 patients with chronic low back pain and 111 patients with ankylosing spondylitis provided data for the cost- analyses. The average annual disease related total societal costs were Euro7,813, Euro8,533 and Euro3,205 per patient in fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain and ankylosing spondylitis respectively. Total costs were higher in fibromyalgia and low back pain compared with ankylosing spondylitis mainly because of costs for formal and informal care, aids and adaptations and workdays lost. Well being was lower in fibromyalgia (mean: 48) and low back pain (mean: 42) compared with ankylosing spondylitis (mean: 67). No variables other than diagnostic group contributed to differences in costs or well being. '

CONCLUSION: Remarkable differences in costs and well-being were noticed between patients with fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain under care of a specialist on the one hand and ankylosing spondylitis on the other hand. In particular, direct non-medical costs and productivity costs were higher in fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain.

PMID: 15271773 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]




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