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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Aug 2023 - 11 Aug 2023

Psychology, Sex/Gender/Race, Social Aspects

Human Studies, Neurobiology


2023 Aug 04



Cost of illness of patients with small fiber neuropathy in the Netherlands.


Geerts M, Hoeijmakers JGJ, van Eijk-Hustings Y, Brandts L, Gorissen-Brouwers CML, Merkies ISJ, Joore MA, Faber CG


Neuropathic pain is associated with substantial healthcare costs. However, cost-of-illness studies of small fiber neuropathy (SFN) are scarce. Our aim was to estimate the healthcare, patient and family, and productivity costs of patients with SFN in the Netherlands from a healthcare and societal perspective. In addition, the association of costs with age, pain impact on daily life, anxiety, depression, and quality of life (Qol) were examined. Cost questionnaires were completed by 156 patients with confirmed SFN. The average annual total health care and societal cost (€, 2020) was calculated at patient, SFN adult population, and societal level. The average annual healthcare, patient and family, and productivity costs per patient with a Pain Impact Numerical Rating Scale of 0 to 3 (mild), 4 to 6 (moderate), and 7 to 10 (severe) were calculated by using the cost questionnaire data. Quality of life was determined by the EuroQol 5D utility scores. Anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Associations of all costs were analyzed using linear regression analyses. At the patient level, the average annual SFN healthcare and societal cost of SFN was €3614 (95% confidence interval [CI] €3171-€4072) and €17,871 (95% CI €14,395-€21,480). At the SFN population level, the average healthcare costs were €29.8 (CI €26.4-€34.2) million, and on a societal level, these were €147.7 (CI 120.5-176.3) million. Severe pain was associated with significant lower Qol and higher depression scores, higher healthcare, patient and family, and productivity costs (P < 0.001).