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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2006 Apr;20(2):223-40.

What are the costs of childhood-onset rheumatic disease?

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  • 1German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin, Rheumatology Unit, Berlin, Germany.


Juvenile rheumatic diseases have important impacts on health, i.e. on patients' body functions and structures, activities, and social participation. The identification and treatment of these disorders is costly. Treatment involves periods of hospitalization, the use of physicians and other professional services, drugs and other treatments. Frequent outpatient visits are needed, as may be surgery. This all imposes a large financial burden on health-care systems and on families of children who suffer from rheumatic illnesses. Costs borne by families are both out-of-pocket as well as related to time spent in providing care, which may involve loss of income. Of course, the burdens are not only monetary, and they sometimes continue for life. The measurement of the different types of cost is essential to get a full picture of the burden of childhood-onset rheumatic illnesses. This chapter presents data on the costs of these illnesses, and introduces methodologies and their limitations for cost evaluation within paediatric rheumatology.

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