OUT OF POCKET EXPENDITURES FOR TREATING ASTHMA IN ELDERLY POPULATION: A CASE STUDY OF PAKISTAN INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL, ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN
Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways which is very common in Pakistan. Worldwide, the economic costs associated with asthma are increased to those of TB and HIV/AIDS combined.
Objective: To estimate the out of pocket expenditures (direct & indirect medical cost) and its determinants in asthma patients visiting tertiary care hospitals.
Methods: The cross sectional study was conducted on 116 asthmatic patients. The data was collected from all elderly asthma patients (60 or above) who were diagnosed with asthma at least from last 1 year and receiving inpatient and outpatient care. The samples were interviewed by using the close ended questionnaire. Data was analyzed by using the SPSS software version 20.0.
Results: Out of total 116 patients, 48% were males while 52% were females. Most of the participants 72% were between age group of 60-65 years. The average out of pocket expenditures in elderly asthma inpatients was Rs.1128, and in outpatients these were Rs.854. The medicines were the major source of OOPS 43%; followed by lab investigators 24% & transportation cost 18%. It was estimated that age was significantly associated with the direct cost having p value 0.026; it was observed that average length of stay, disease duration & severity of disease was significantly associated with the direct as well as with the total cost (direct & indirect medical cost having p value <0.05.
Conclusion: Asthma is expensive disease to manage among elderly patients. The affluent charges of managing asthma can put tremendous socioeconomic burden on patients.