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Br J Community Nurs. 2000 Oct;5(10):477-8, 480, 482, 484-8.

The costs of long-term catheterization in the community.

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  • 1Southmead Hospital, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, UK.


The prevalence of long-term catheterization in the adult population is of the order of 0.03-0.07%, rising to 0.5% in those over 75 years and 2% in those over 85 years old. Studies have shown that the prevalence of urinary incontinence increases with age and is higher in females. Little is known about the costs of long-term catheterization, which have consequences for care decisions. A pilot study was conducted to test (a) the applicability in the UK of a methodology developed in the USA for measuring the cost of long-term catheterization in community-based patients, and (b) the feasibility of using it in larger-scale community-based studies. The study made use of the method developed in the USA by Wagner and Hu (1998) to assess the true costs in the population. Patients were selected in order to represent as broad as possible a range of underlying disease processes and social circumstances. Eight patients were selected, drawn from 3 distinct groups of patients. The pilot study demonstrated wide variation in direct costs for 7 patients living in the community over a 3-month period, ranging from pound 118.80 to pound 2585.26. Since staffing is - for the most part - the most significant cost element, this indicates significant variation in levels of need. Resources deployed for one nursing procedure clearly impact on opportunities to undertake other procedures. An understanding of the costs of any procedure is necessary in order to make best use of the limited resources available.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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