Use of health care services by patients with psoriasis: a population-based study

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Abstract

Background

Although psoriasis is seldom life threatening, very few studies have compared differences in health care service use between patients with and without psoriasis.

Objectives

To investigate differences in health care service use between patients with and without psoriasis.

Methods

Patient details and data on their use of health services were retrieved from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. We included 3649 patients with psoriasis and 3649 without it. Each patient was followed for a 1-year period to estimate their utilization of health care resources. Student t-tests were used to compare differences in health care services use between patients with and without psoriasis.

Results

For dermatology services, patients with psoriasis had significantly more outpatient visits (3·5 vs. 0·9), and higher outpatient and total costs (US$148·00 vs. US$12·20 and US$581·60 vs. US$347·20, respectively) than those without psoriasis. For nondermatology services, patients with psoriasis had more outpatient visits (21·3 vs. 17·6), and higher outpatient and total costs (US$904·60 vs. US$663·50 and US$1335·50 vs. US$998·30, respectively) than those without psoriasis. For overall health care service use, patients with psoriasis had significantly more outpatient visits (24·8 vs. 18·5; P < 0·01) and greater total costs (US$1917·10 vs. US$1345·60; P < 0·01) than those without psoriasis. This indicates that the total cost was about 1·4-fold greater for patients with psoriasis than those without it.

Conclusions

Patients with psoriasis used health care services significantly more often than those without psoriasis.

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