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Cost of low back pain in Switzerland in 2005

Simon Wieser, Bruno Horisberger, Sara Schmidhauser, Claudia Eisenring, Urs Brügger, Andreas Ruckstuhl, Jürg Dietrich, Anne F. Mannion, Achim Elfering, Özgür Tamcan and Urs Müller
The European Journal of Health Economics
Vol. 12, No. 5 (October 2011), pp. 455-467
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41474382
Page Count: 13
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Cost of low back pain in Switzerland in 2005
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Abstract

Low back pain (LBP) is the most prevalent health problem in Switzerland and a leading cause of reduced work performance and disability. This study estimated the total cost of LBP in Switzerland in 2005 from a societal perspective using a bottom-up prevalence-based cost-of-illness approach. The study considers more cost categories than are typically investigated and includes the costs associated with a multitude of LBP sufferers who are not under medical care. The findings are based on a questionnaire completed by a sample of 2,507 German-speaking respondents, of whom 1,253 suffered from LBP in the last 4 weeks; 346 of them were receiving medical treatment for their LBP. Direct costs of LBP were estimated at €2.6 billion and direct medical costs at 6.1% of the total healthcare expenditure in Switzerland. Productivity losses were estimated at €4.1 billion with the human capital approach and €2.2 billion with the friction cost approach. Presenteeism was the single most prominent cost category. The total economic burden of LBP to Swiss society was between 1.6 and 2.3% of GDP.

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