The hidden costs of asthma
UTS researchers have uncovered the staggering out-of-pocket expenses associated with the treatment of asthma.
In Australia, around $159 million is spent on asthma treatment every year by asthmatic women over the age of 50.
That is the finding of a new study, led by Distinguished Professor Jon Adams, Director of the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM).
Using data collected by the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study [opens external site], Distinguished Professor Adams and his team examined the health care accessed by asthmatic women and the associated expenses.
Not only did the researchers uncover the staggering cost of asthma treatment, they also found the widespread use of complementary medicine (CM) to treat the condition.
They found that one in three women used some form of complementary medicine to assist with the management of their asthma. This is despite the lack of evidence to suggest the efficacy of these treatments.
Distinguished Professor Adams says that this highlights the need to investigate the use of complementary medicine for the treatment of asthma.
“It is imperative that further work seek to establish the evidence-base of different CM treatments used for the management of asthma.”
However, the extensive range of conventional and complementary health care treatments used by patients to treat asthma speaks to the need for coordinated care.
“Health care providers need to initiate conversations with patients about what other treatments they are using for their asthma, so that patients are receiving safe and effective care,” says Distinguished Professor Adams.
Read the full article here: The health care utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure associated with asthma amongst a sample of Australian women aged over 45 years: analysis from the ‘45 and up’ study [opens external site]