Background: Foot-related diabetes complications reduce individual well-being, increase mortality and results in increased healthcare costs. Despite their notable stress on health services, studies examining the foot complication care pathways, especially from the viewpoint of health services, are limited. We aimed to identify the most typical care pathways following an initial foot-related diabetes complication, to characterize the patients on each pathway and calculate the related healthcare costs. Methods: The identification of pathways was based on population-wide register-based data including all persons diagnosed with diabetes in Finland from 1964 to 2017. For each patient, initial foot-related complication from 2011–2016 was identified using the ICD-10 codes and related healthcare episodes were followed for two years until the end of 2017 or death. A sequence analysis was conducted on care episodes resulting in groups of typical care pathways, as well as their patient profiles. The costs of pathways resulting from the care episodes were calculated based on the data and the reported national unit costs and analyzed using linear models. Results: We identified six groups of typical pathways each comprising mainly single type of care episodes. Three of the groups comprised over 10 000 patients while the remaining groups ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand. Majority of pathways consisted only single care episode. However, among the rest of the care pathways variability in length of care pathways was observed between and within group of pathways. On average, the patients were over 65 years of age and were diagnosed with diabetes for over a decade. The pathways resulted in an annual cost of EUR 13 million. The mean costs were nearly 20-fold higher in the group with the highest costs (EUR 11 917) compared to the group with the lowest costs (EUR 609). Conclusions: We identified groups of typical care pathways for diabetic foot and discovered notable heterogeneity in the resource use within the groups. This information is valuable in guiding the development of diabetes care to meet the growing need. Nevertheless, reasons underlying the observed heterogeneity requires further examination. Since foot complications are largely preventable, substantial savings could be achieved using cost-effective technologies and more efficient organization of care.
|Julkaisu||Bmc Health Services Research|
|DOI - pysyväislinkit|
|Tila||Julkaistu - 26 huhtik. 2022|
|OKM-julkaisutyyppi||A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä|
- Jufo-taso 2