We used case-control design to compare utilization of health and social services between older decedents and survivors, and to identify the respective impact of age and closeness of death on the utilization of services.
Data were derived from multiple national registers. The sample consisted of 56,001 persons, who died during years 1998-2000 at the age of > or = 70, and their pairs matched on age, gender and municipality of residence, who were alive at least 2 years after their counterpart's death. Data include use of hospitals, long-term care and home care. Decedents' utilization within 2 years before death and survivors' utilization in the same period of time was assessed in three age groups (70-79, 80-89 and > or = 90 years) and by gender.
Decedents used hospital and long-term care more than their surviving counterparts, but the time patterns were different. In hospital care the differences between decedents and survivors rose in the last months of the study period, whereas in long-term care there were clear differences during the whole 2-year period. The differences were smaller in the oldest age group than in younger age groups.
Closeness of death is an important predictor of health and social service use in old age, but its influence varies between age groups. Not only the changing age structure, but also the higher average age at death affects the future need for services.
The purpose of the study was to examine the frequency of burdensome care transitions at the end of life, the difference between different types of residential care facilities, and the changes occurring between 2002 and 2008.
A nationwide, register-based retrospective study.
Residential care facilities offering long-term care, including traditional nursing homes, sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance, and long-term care facilities specialized in care for people with dementia.
All people in Finland who died at the age of 70 or older, had dementia, and were in residential care during their last months of life.
Three types of potentially burdensome care transition: (1) any transition to another care facility in the last 3 days of life; (2) a lack of continuity with respect to a residential care facility before and after hospitalization in the last 90 days of life; (3) multiple hospitalizations (more than 2) in the last 90 days of life. The 3 types were studied separately and as a whole.
One-tenth (9.5%) had burdensome care transitions. Multiple hospitalizations in the last 90 days were the most frequent, followed by any transitions in the last 3 days of life. The frequency varied between residents who lived in different baseline care facilities being higher in sheltered housing and long-term specialist care for people with dementia than in traditional nursing homes. During the study years, the number of transitions fluctuated but showed a slight decrease since 2005.
The ongoing change in long-term care from institutional care to housing services causes major challenges to the continuity of end-of-life care. To guarantee good quality during the last days of life for people with dementia, the underlying reasons behind transitions at the end of life should be investigated more thoroughly.
The time of death is increasingly postponed to a very high age. How this change affects the use of care services at the population level is unknown. This study analyses the care profiles of older people during their last 2?years of life, and investigates how these profiles differ for the study years 1996-1998 and 2011-2013.
Retrospective cross-sectional nationwide data drawn from the Care Register for Health Care, the Care Register for Social Care and the Causes of Death Register. The data included the use of hospital and long-term care services during the last 2?years of life for all those who died in 1998 and in 2013 at the age of =70 years in Finland.
We constructed four care profiles using two criteria: (1) number of days in round-the-clock care (vs at home) in the last 2?years of life and (2) care transitions during the last 6?months of life (ie, end-of-life care transitions).
Between the study periods, the average age at death and the number of diagnoses increased. Most older people (1998: 64.3%, 2013: 59.3%) lived at home until their last months of life (profile 2) after which they moved into hospital or long-term care facilities. This profile became less common and the profiles with a high use of care services became more common (profiles 3 and 4 together in 1998: 25.0%, in 2013: 30.9%). People with dementia, women and the oldest old were over-represented in the latter profiles. In both study periods, fewer than one in ten stayed at home for the whole last 6?months (profile 1).
Postponement of death to a very old age may translate into more severe disability in the last months or years of life. Care systems must be prepared for longer periods of long-term care services needed at the end of life.
The aim of the study was to compare clients' and named home care (HC) workers' perceptions of clients' functional ability (FA) and need for help and to analyse which client- and municipality-related factors are associated with perceptions of client's FA. The total of 686 Finnish HC clients was interviewed in 2001. Further, the questionnaire was sent to 686 HC workers. FA was assessed by activities of daily living (ADL), which included both basic/physical (PADL) and instrumental (IADL) activities. The association between client's FA and municipality-related variables was analysed by using hierarchical logistic regression models. The findings indicated that clients' and HC-workers' perceptions about what the clients were able to do were similar in the PADL functions, but perceptions differed when it comes to the IADL functions for mobility and in climbing stairs. A smaller proportion of clients compared with HC workers assessed themselves to be in need of help in all ADL functions. Use of home help and bathing services increased the probability of belonging to the 'poor' FA class while living alone and small size of municipality decreased the probability. The study indicates that although clients and workers assessed client's FA fairly similarly, there were major differences in perceptions concerning clients' needs for help in ADL functions. Clients' and workers' shared view of need for help forms a basis for high-quality care. Therefore, the perception of both the clients and workers must be taken into account when planning care and services. There was also variation in clients' FA between municipalities, although only the size of municipality had some association with the variation. The probability that clients with a lower FA are cared for in HC is higher if the clients live in large- rather than small-sized municipalities. This may reflect a better mix of services and resources in large-sized municipalities.
Hypertension is one of the major causes of disease burden affecting the Finnish population. Over the last decade, evidence-based care has emerged to complement other approaches to antihypertensive care, often without health economic assessment of its costs and effects. This study looks at the extent to which changes proposed by the 2002 Finnish evidence-based Current Care Guidelines concerning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hypertension (the ACCG scenario) can be considered cost-effective when compared to modelled prior clinical practice (the PCP scenario).
A decision analytic model compares the ACCG and PCP scenarios using information synthesised from a set of national registers covering prescription drug reimbursements, morbidity, and mortality with data from two national surveys concerning health and functional capacity. Statistical methods are used to estimate model parameters from Finnish data. We model the potential impact of the different treatment strategies under the ACCG and PCP scenarios, such as lifestyle counselling and drug therapy, for subgroups stratified by age, gender, and blood pressure. The model provides estimates of the differences in major health-related outcomes in the form of life-years and costs as calculated from a 'public health care system' perspective. Cost-effectiveness analysis results are presented for subgroups and for the target population as a whole.
The impact of the use of the ACCG scenario in subgroups (aged 40-80) without concomitant cardiovascular and related diseases is mainly positive. Generally, costs and life-years decrease in unison in the lowest blood pressure group, while in the highest blood pressure group costs and life-years increase together and in the other groups the ACCG scenario is less expensive and produces more life-years. When the costs and effects for subgroups are combined using standard decision analytic aggregation methods, the ACCG scenario is cost-saving and more effective.
The ACCG scenario is likely to reduce costs and increase life-years compared to the PCP scenario in many subgroups. If the estimated trade-offs between the subgroups in terms of outcomes and costs are acceptable to decision-makers, then widespread implementation of the ACCG scenario is expected to reduce overall costs and be accompanied by positive outcomes overall.
Cites: Hum Reprod. 2000 Jan;15(1):95-10610611196
Cites: Arch Intern Med. 2000 May 8;160(9):1277-8310809030
Evaluation of cost-effectiveness of new surgical techniques is important. As the data on incontinence procedures are scarce, we evaluated the cost-effectiveness of tension-free vaginal tape procedure and laparoscopic mesh colposuspension as a primary surgical treatment for female stress urinary incontinence.
In four university teaching hospitals and two central hospitals 128 stress incontinent women were randomized to tension-free vaginal tape procedure (n=70) or laparoscopic mesh colposuspension (n=51) in order to investigate the clinical performance of these two procedures. Primary objective clinical outcome measures were: stress test and 48-h pad test. Secondary subjective outcome measures were health-related quality of life measured in terms of visual analogue scale and Urinary Incontinence Severity Score. Alongside the clinical trial, a cost-effectiveness analysis for the main outcome measures was performed.
The changes in the 48-h pad test result did not reach statistical significance (p=0.105). When the visual analogue scale or Urinary Incontinence Severity Score are used as the outcome measure, the tension-free vaginal tape is more cost-effective than laparoscopic mesh colposuspension over a follow-up period of one year (p
To evaluate the effects of integrated home care and discharge practice (IHCaD-practice) on the use of services and cost-effectiveness.
A cluster randomised trial with Finnish municipalities (n=22) as the units of randomisation. At baseline the sample included 668 home care patients aged 65 years or over. Data consisted of interviews (discharge, 3-week, 6-month) and care registers. The intervention was a generic prototype of care/case management-practice that was tailored to each municipality's needs. The effects were evaluated in terms of the use and cost of health and social care services. Unit costs of services were calculated. Cost-effectiveness was calculated for changes in health-related quality of life using the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) and the EQ-5D instruments. All analyses were based on intention-to-treat.
At 6-month follow-ups, the patients in the trail group used less home care, doctor and laboratory services than patients in the non-trial group. Similar differences between groups were found regarding costs. According to the NHP instrument, the IHCaD-practice showed higher cost-effectiveness compared to the old practice. No evidence for cost-effectiveness was found with the EQ-5D instrument.
The study suggests that the IHCaD-practice may be a cost-effective alternative to usual care.
The aim was to elucidate the costs and clinical results of sterilization.
A retrospective analysis was carried out on sterilizations conducted at the Hyvinkää hospital in 2006 to 2007 by tubal ligation with clips and by microimplants.
Total costs obtained for microimplant sterilization per patient were 1,146 Euros and for clip sterilization 1,712 Euros. Postoperative pain was significantly less in the microimplant group, and adverse effects associated with the procedure were more common in the clip sterilization group.
Microimplant sterilization performed on an outpatient basis is more cost-effective than laparoscopic clip sterilization.
Few empirical analyses of the impact of organised prostate cancer (PCa) screening on healthcare costs exist, despite cost-related information often being considered as a prerequisite to informed screening decisions. Therefore, we estimate the differences in register-based costs of publicly funded healthcare in the two arms of the Finnish Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (FinRSPC) after 20 years.
We obtained individual-level register data on prescription medications, as well as inpatient and outpatient care, to estimate healthcare costs for 80,149 men during the first 20 years of the FinRSPC. We compared healthcare costs for the men in each trial arm and performed statistical analysis.
For all men diagnosed with PCa during the 20-year observation period, mean PCa-related costs appeared to be around 10% lower in the screening arm (SA). Mean all-cause healthcare costs for these men were also lower in the SA, but differences were smaller than for PCa-related costs alone, and no longer statistically significant. For men dying from PCa, although the difference was not statistically significant, mean all-cause healthcare costs were around 10% higher. When analysis included all observations, cumulative costs were slightly higher in the CA; however, after excluding extreme values, cumulative costs were slightly higher in the SA.
No major cost impacts due to screening were apparent, but the FinRSPC's 20-year follow-up period is too short to provide definitive evidence at this stage. Longer term follow-up will be required to be better informed about the costs of, or savings from, introducing mass PCa screening.
Dementia is one of the most common causes of death among old people in Finland and other countries with high life expectancies. Dementing illnesses are the most important disease group behind the need for long-term care and therefore place a considerable burden on the health and social care system. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of dementia and year of death (1998-2003) on health and social service use in the last two years of life among old people.
The data were derived from multiple national registers in Finland and comprise all those who died in 1998, 2002 or 2003 and 40% of those who died in 1999-2001 at the age of 70 or over (n = 145 944). We studied the use of hospitals, long-term care and home care in the last two years of life. Statistics were performed using binary logistic regression analyses and negative binomial regression analyses, adjusting for age, gender and comorbidity.
The proportion of study participants with a dementia diagnosis was 23.5%. People with dementia diagnosis used long-term care more often (OR 9.30, 95% CI 8.60, 10.06) but hospital (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.31, 0.35) and home care (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.46, 0.54) less often than people without dementia. The likelihood of using university hospital and long-term care increased during the eight-year study period, while the number of days spent in university and general hospital among the users decreased. Differences in service use between people with and without dementia decreased during the study period.
Old people with dementia used long-term care to a much greater extent and hospital and home care to a lesser extent than those without dementia. This difference persisted even when controlling for age, gender and comorbidity. It is important that greater attention is paid to ensuring that old people with dementia have equitable access to care.
Cites: Am J Psychiatry. 2000 May;157(5):704-710784461