INTRODUCTION: Asthma affects 30 million people in Western Europe, leading to substantial burden on healthcare systems and economies. REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience (REALISE™) was a large European survey across 11 countries assessing patient attitudes and behaviors towards their asthma. The present study utilizes REALISE™ data to understand resource use and absenteeism in asthma.
METHODS: Data were collected on absenteeism and healthcare resource use from 8000 asthma patients (aged 18-50 years) across the 11 countries. All data were patient reported. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated against the country with the lowest proportion of respondents for hospitalization (as a proxy for lowest resource use).
RESULTS: Patient characteristics were broadly similar across countries. However, self-reported asthma control status varied. More than 50% of respondents in most countries considered primary healthcare professionals (HCPs), i.e., general practitioners and nurses, the main HCP they see about their asthma. However, in some countries, specialists or nurses were considered the main HCP. Hospitalization was lowest amongst patients in the Netherlands. Resource use and productivity loss varied widely across the countries; ORs for hospitalization ranged from 1 in Sweden to 4 in Norway and for productivity loss from 0.6 in Sweden to 2.6 in Italy, compared with the Netherlands.
CONCLUSION: This study quantified utilization of healthcare resources in asthma (number of visits of HCPs, hospitalization, and accident and emergency visits) as well as absenteeism and showed that differences exist across countries. The differences in primary care and specialist use suggest a possible difference in healthcare delivery across countries.
FUNDING: Mundipharma International Limited, Cambridge, UK.
- resource use