The burden of stroke in the Netherlands: estimating quality of life and costs for 1 year poststroke

M. van Eeden*, C. van Heugten, G.A.P.G. van Mastrigt, M. van Mierlo, J.M.A. Visser-Meily, S.M.A.A. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To assess and explore over 1 year poststroke (1) the societal costs, (2) changes in costs and quality of life (QoL) and (3) the relation between costs and QoL.

Design: The current study is a burden of disease study focusing on the cost-of-illness (in Euros) and QoL (in utilities) after stroke.

Setting: Adult patients with stroke were recruited from stroke units in hospitals and followed for 1 year.

Participants: Data were collected from 395 patients with stroke.

Main outcome measures: Costs and QoL expressed in utilities.

Methods: Cost categories were identified through a bottom-up method. The Dutch 3-level 5-dimensional EuroQol (EQ-5D-3L) was used to calculate utilities. Nonparametric bootstrapping was applied to test for statistical differences in costs. Subgroup analyses were performed to identify predictors for costs and QoL. Robustness of results was tested via sensitivity analyses.

Results: The total societal costs for 1 year poststroke were (sic) 29 484 (n= 352) of which 74% were in the first 6 months. QoL remained stable over time. The discharge location was a significant predictor for cost and QoL; men had a significantly higher QoL than women and younger patients (65). Ceiling effects appear on all dimension of the EQ-5D-3L. Costs and QoL show a weak correlation (r=-0.29). Sensitivity analyses showed robustness of results.

Conclusions: We found lower patient costs and higher QoL than expected. This may be explained by the good state of health of our study population and by change in the Dutch healthcare system, which has led to considerable shorter hospitalisation poststroke. Future research must question the use of the EQ-5D-3L in a similar population due to ceiling effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere008220
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015



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