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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;56(5):515-26. doi: 10.1177/0020764009106140. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

The economic burden of psychiatric disorders in Sweden.

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Medical Management Centre (MMC), Karolinska Institutet and Norrtälje Kommun, Tiohundraförvaltningen, R&D Section, Norrtälje, Sweden.



and aim: The incidence of mental ill health in Sweden has increased over the past few years. Thus, the aim of this study is to estimate the burden of psychiatric disorders for both the direct and indirect costs in Sweden for 2001 by making comparisons with data from 1998.


The cost-of-illness approach, which is based on human-capital theory, was applied. We have chosen a prevalence approach and a top-down method based on aggregate healthcare expenditures from national databases.


The total annual economic burden of psychiatric disorders in Sweden is estimated to be 9.4 billion euros (1 euro = SEK9.1). The direct costs are estimated to be 1.9 billion euros comprising 20% of the total costs. The indirect costs are estimated to be 7.5 billion euros and account for the remaining 80%. A comparison with previous studies indicates that the indirect costs were 60% and 53% in 1975 and 1991, respectively.


The number of beds in specialized psychiatric care decreased by 11% between 1998 and 2001 but the indirect costs increased dramatically (e.g. the number of days of sick leave almost doubled during the same period).

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