Measuring the financial burden of acute cough in pre-school children: a cost of illness study

Hollinghurst, Sandra, Gorst, Catherine, Fahey, Tom and Hay, Alastair D
(2008) Measuring the financial burden of acute cough in pre-school children: a cost of illness study. BMC Family Practice, 9 (1).

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p> <jats:italic>Context:</jats:italic> Acute cough is a very common symptom presentation among children in primary care and is usually due to respiratory infection, yet its cost is unknown. An estimate of the cost to healthcare providers and parents would aid budgetary decision-making, and provide an insight into the need for interventions to reduce the burden. <jats:italic>Purpose:</jats:italic> To estimate the cost per child per episode, and the annual population cost in the UK, of acute cough in pre-school children presenting to primary care.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p> <jats:italic>Design</jats:italic>: Incidence and prevalence-based cost-of-illness study from the perspectives of the UK NHS and of parents and caregivers. <jats:italic>Setting:</jats:italic> 11 general practices in Bristol, UK. <jats:italic>Subjects:</jats:italic> 121 children without known asthma aged 3 to 59 months presenting for the first time with an acute (≤ 28 days) cough.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>Mean cost per episode to the NHS: £27.43 (95% CI: £24.38 – £30.49). Mean cost per episode to parents and carers: £14.77 (£4.90 – £24.65). Annual cost to the NHS in the UK: at least £31.5 m (95% CI: £28.0 m – £35.0 m).</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title> <jats:p>The cost burden on the healthcare provider of acute cough in pre-school children is substantial; the majority of this cost arises from consultations with general practitioners. Parents experience some personal cost through travel and expenditure on over-the-counter preparations, and may suffer significantly if loss of earnings is experienced. There is scope for evaluating interventions designed to reduce this burden.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: ?? R1 ??
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2008 12:14
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2021 21:10
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-9-10
Publisher's Statement : © 2008 Hollinghurst et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited