The Cost of Palliative Care for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hong Kong
Anthony T.C. Chan
Clarke B. Hazlett
Tony S.K. Mok
Thomas W.T. Leung
Wan Y. Lau
Philip J. Johnson
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)is endemic in parts of Asia and Africa and most patients are not suitable for treatment with a curative approach. Little is known about the cost of palliative care for HCC. Objective: To determine: (i) patient-specific costs of palliative care of HCC; and (ii) individual factors that drive patient-specific costs and to develop a model of cost per case under alternative circumstances. Methods: 204 patients with inoperable HCC were prospectively tracked from first hospitalisation until death for health service utilisation. A societal perspective of cost was taken, including costs of formal and informal services incurred by payers, caregivers and patients. Observational data from a large Hong Kong cancer care programme were used. A regression analysis was performed using formal costs only, with the cost per observed day as the dependent variable. Results: The median survival was 95 days and the mean observation period was 153 days. The mean value per person for formal healthcare cost was 30 983 Hong Kong dollars [$HK] ($US3872, 1998 values). The distribution of cost values were positively skewed. The regression analysis showed that age, days of observation and survival were negatively related to cost per observed day, and the Child-Pugh grading of severity of liver cirrhosis was positively related to cost per observed day. A sensitivity analysis based on the regression equation indicated that nonsurvivorship doubles the cost per case, increased severity as measured by the Child-Pugh Index adds about 50% to the cost, and chemotherapy increases cost 2-fold. Conclusions: The relatively modest average cost per patient with HCC in Hong Kong reflects the short median survival and subsequently the limited use of inpatient care and chemotherapy.
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.