Purchase this article with an account.
J. E. Keeffe, E. L. Lamoureux, S.-L. Chou; Contribution of Costs From Lost Productivity of Carers to Eye Care Costs. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1167.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To enumerate the costs of carers for vision impaired people, a cost contributing a significant proportion of total direct and indirect costs of vision impairment.
The time provided by carers were recorded daily in diaries over a period of 12 months by adults with impaired vision recruited from eye clinics, rehabilitation agencies and consumers groups. Times were recorded under headings of health care, home help, outings and access to information and participation in activities. Costs were computed by using the opportunity cost method multiplying times in hours by the national average hourly wage rate.
Their mean age of the 118 eligible participants (62.7% female) was 65 (±19.7) yr. Most of the participants (56%) had severe vision impairment (<6/60) in the better eye and the most common cause of vision loss was age-related macular degeneration (43%). The mean duration of vision impairment was 17.5 (±18) yr. 73% of the participants had other non-ocular comorbidity although 67% indicated it had little or no interference on their lives. 90% (n=106) of the participants used carers and the three highest yearly median utilisation rates were 42 (3-528), 21 (1-656) and 18 (1-188) for health care, transport and personal affairs, respectively although the greatest time was used for vision-related assistance to access information and participate in activities in and outside the home. The median yearly amount of time a vision impaired person relies on carers is 81.3 hr (0.6-850) (~ 2 working weeks of carers’ time). In particular, carers spend time attending to personal affairs and transport (median= 35 (0.5-597) and 32 hrs (0.6-650), respectively). The median yearly total cost of carers was $915.00 (range=0-9,563). There was no effect for age, gender, other non-ocular co morbidity, the effect of other non-ocular co morbidity, living conditions or private health insurance on the utilization rate of the any of the eight categories of informal care and support.
Restoring vision or enhancing independence through eye care or vision rehabilitation should contribute significant savings in the costs of vision impairment but also increase possible productive time available for the person with impaired vision and the carer.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only