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J Postgrad Med. 2019 Aug 22. doi: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_105_19. [Epub ahead of print]

Economic burden of slow learners: A prevalence-based cost of illness study of its direct, indirect, and intangible costs.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
2
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Abstract

Aims:

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the economic burden of slow learners (students with "borderline intellectual functioning") by estimating its direct, indirect, and intangible costs. The secondary objective was to assess the impact of variables on the economic burden.

Settings and Design:

Cross-sectional, single-arm descriptive study.

Setting:

Learning disability clinic in a public medical college in Mumbai.

Materials and Methods:

The study cases (age ≥5 - 18 years) were recruited by nonprobability sampling. A structured questionnaire was used to interview the parent to collect data related to direct and indirect costs. Intangible costs data were collected by documenting the willingness-to-pay value using the contingent valuation technique.

Statistical Analysis Used:

A quantile regression model was used to assess the impact of predictor variables on the costs.

Results:

The direct, indirect, and intangible costs of slow learners were INR 6,065,915, 10,298,613, and 145,172,800, respectively. Indirect costs comprised 62.9% of the total costs. Expenditure on tuitions, medications, and remedial education comprised 57.38%, 16.18%, and 10.30% of the direct costs, respectively. The average annual total costs of slow learners were INR 3,544,880. The average annual learning disability clinic costs were INR 2,250,194. The average annual total costs per student were INR 57,951. Longer duration of poor school performance was predictive of higher direct and total costs.

Conclusion:

The economic burden of slow learners is enormous (intangible > indirect > direct costs). Tuitions are the most costly component of direct costs. Parental loss of earnings is the most costly component of indirect costs.

KEYWORDS:

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; borderline intellectual functioning; cost of illness; students

PMID:
31441438
DOI:
10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_105_19
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