The health care utilisation and out-of-pocket expenditure associated with Australian stroke survivors aged 55 and over.

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    • Abstract:
      Objective: Stroke is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide. People with stroke have a number of options available to treat post-stroke related symptoms and challenges. The aim of this study was to assess the use of healthcare services, self-care practices and out-of-pocket expenses associated with post-stroke healthcare. Methods: We retrospectively analysed data collected between April and October 2017 from a survey of 576 participants aged 55 to 96 from the 45 and Up Study, NSW (Australia), who had earlier reported a clinical diagnosis of stroke. Participants were asked about their use of health care services, including conventional medicine practitioners and medications, complementary medicine practitioners, practices and products and the respective associated out-of-pocket expenditure for each. Results: Amongst the total of 576 individuals who participated in the study, 39% consulted a doctor, 18% consulted an allied health practitioner, and 8% consulted a complementary medicine practitioner in the previous year for their stroke. Participants' average combined out-of-pocket expenditure for post-stroke related healthcare was AU$386.4 per annum. Extrapolated to all Australians with stroke, aged 55 years and over, the total out-of-pocket expenditure for post-stroke related healthcare is estimated to be AU$42 million per annum. Conclusions: Post-stroke individuals used a wide range of health services and various self-care practices for stroke rehabilitation. Such healthcare utilisation is associated with significant annual out-of-pocket expenditure. Given the socioeconomic burden of stroke, further research is required to identify the barriers and facilitators of self-care among patients with stroke and explore the cost-effectiveness of the wide range of treatments(s) utilised for post-stroke care. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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