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Quality of life and use of health care resources among patients with chronic depression

Authors Villoro R, Merino M, Hidalgo-Vega A

Received 1 December 2015

Accepted for publication 12 July 2016

Published 26 September 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 145—155


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert Howland

Renata Villoro,1 María Merino,1 Alvaro Hidalgo-Vega,2

1Department of Health Economics, Instituto Max Weber, Madrid, 2Department of Economics and Finance, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain

Purpose: This study estimates the health-related quality of life and the health care resource utilization of patients diagnosed with chronic depression (CD) in Spain.
Patients and methods: We used the Spanish National Health Survey 2011–2012, a cross-sectional survey representative at the national level, that selects people aged between 18 and 64 years (n=14,691). We estimated utility indices through the EuroQol five-dimensional descriptive system questionnaire included in the survey. We calculated percentage use of health care resources (medical visits, hospitalizations, emergency services, and drug consumption) and average number of resources used when available. A systematic comparison was made between people diagnosed with CD and other chronic conditions (OCCs). The chi-square test, Mann–Whitney U-test, and Kruskal–Wallis test were used to determine the statistical significance of differences between comparison groups. Multivariate analyses (Poisson regression, logistic regression, and linear regression) were also carried out to assess the relationship between quality of life and consumption of health care resources.
Results: Approximately, 6.1% of the subjects aged between 18 and 64 years were diagnosed with CD (average age 48.3±11 years, 71.7% females). After controlling for age, sex, and total number of comorbidities, a diagnosis of CD reduced utility scores by 0.09 (P<0.05) vs OCCs, and increased the average number of hospitalizations by 15%, the average number of days at hospital by 51%, and the average number of visits to emergency services by 15% (P<0.05). CD also increased the average number of visits to secondary care by 14% and visits to general practitioners by 4%. People with CD had a higher probability of consuming drugs than people with OCCs (odds ratio [OR]: 1.24, P<0.05), but only 38.6% took antidepressants.
Conclusion: People with CD had significantly lower health-related quality of life than people with OCCs. CD was associated with increased hospital length of stay and involved a higher consumption of emergency services and drugs than OCCs.

Keywords: utility, burden of disease, health care resources, depression, Spain

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