Cost of informal caregiving for patients with heart failure

  • Joo H
  • Fang J
  • Losby J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background Heart failure is a serious health condition that requires a significant amount of informal care. However, informal caregiving costs associated with heart failure are largely unknown. Methods We used a study sample of noninstitutionalized US respondents aged ???50 years from the 2010 HRS (n = 19,762). Heart failure cases were defined by using self-reported information. The weekly informal caregiving hours were derived by a sequence of survey questions assessing (1) whether respondents had any difficulties in activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, (2) whether they had caregivers because of reported difficulties, (3) the relationship between the patient and the caregiver, (4) whether caregivers were paid, and (5) how many hours per week each informal caregiver provided help. We used a 2-part econometric model to estimate the informal caregiving hours associated with heart failure. The first part was a logit model to estimate the likelihood of using informal caregiving, and the second was a generalized linear model to estimate the amount of informal caregiving hours used among those who used informal caregiving. Replacement approach was used to estimate informal caregiving cost. Results The 943 (3.9%) respondents who self-reported as ever being diagnosed with heart failure used about 1.6 more hours of informal caregiving per week than those who did not have heart failure (P b .001). Informal caregiving hours associated with heart failure were higher among non-Hispanic blacks (3.9 hours/week) than non-Hispanic whites (1.4 hours/week). The estimated annual informal caregiving cost attributable to heart failure was $3 billion in 2010. Conclusion The cost of informal caregiving was substantial and should be included in estimating the economic burden of heart failure. The results should help public health decision makers in understanding the economic burden of heart failure and in setting public health priorities.

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Authors

  • Heesoo Joo

  • Jing Fang

  • Jan L. Losby

  • Guijing Wang

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