Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study included 167 SLE patients (21 males, 146 females; mean age 38.2±9.8 years; range, 20 to 60 years) recruited from the outpatient Rheumatology and Nephrology clinics. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to record patients' socio- demographics (age, sex, ethnicity, marital status, and occupation) and SLE disease characteristics (system involvement, age onset, and presence of organ damage). Disease activity was assessed using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index-2000 (SLEDAI-2K). Short form 36 (SF-36) was used to determine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) while Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire was used to assess the four domains of absenteeism, presenteeism, overall work productivity, and non-work related ADL impairment. Univariate analyses and multivariable regression analysis examined the association of demographic variables, SLE disease characteristics, and activity with reduced HRQoL and WPAI scores.
Results: The majority of the patients were Malays (59.3%), followed by Chinese (34.7%) and Indian (3.6%) patients. More than two-thirds of the patients reported some degree of impairment in their work productivity and ADL due to the disease. The absenteeism rate was 10.4% in the past one week and their indirect costs were 2,875.17 Malaysian ringgits (US $701.22) in the past seven days. Significant predictors of higher work productivity and ADL impairment scores were higher disease activity, more frequent SLE flares, lupus nephritis, and hematological involvement of SLE. Patients with higher work productivity and ADL impairment scores were also strongly associated with poor QoL. No ethnic disparities of work productivity and ADL impairment were found.
Conclusion: Systemic lupus erythematosus significantly affected the overall productivity in work and non-work related activity in our Malaysian multi-ethnic cohort and both impairments were significantly associated with poor QoL.
METHODS: A decision-analytic Markov model was developed to simulate the impact of S. suis infection and its major complications: death, meningitis and infective endocarditis among Thai people in 2019 with starting age of 51 years. Transition probabilities, and inputs pertaining to costs, utilities and productivity impairment associated with long-term complications were derived from published sources. A lifetime time horizon with follow-up until death or age 100 years was adopted. The simulation was repeated assuming that the cohort had not been infected with S.suis. The differences between the two set of model outputs in years of life, QALYs, and PALYs lived reflected the impact of S.suis infection. An annual discount rate of 3% was applied to both costs and outcomes. One-way sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation modeling technique using 10,000 iterations were performed to assess the impact of uncertainty in the model.
KEY RESULTS: This cohort incurred 769 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 695 to 841) years of life lost (14% of predicted years of life lived if infection had not occurred), 826 (95% UI: 588 to 1,098) QALYs lost (21%) and 793 (95%UI: 717 to 867) PALYs (15%) lost. These equated to an average of 2.46 years of life, 2.64 QALYs and 2.54 PALYs lost per person. The loss in PALYs was associated with a loss of 346 (95% UI: 240 to 461) million Thai baht (US$11.3 million) in GDP, which equated to 1.1 million Thai baht (US$ 36,033) lost per person.
CONCLUSIONS: S.suis infection imposes a significant economic burden both in terms of health and productivity. Further research to investigate the effectiveness of public health awareness programs and disease control interventions should be mandated to provide a clearer picture for decision making in public health strategies and resource allocations.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This study has been carried out by using a methodology combining an in-depth literature review with a comparison framework, which is called as the "Framework for Comparing Business Process Improvement Methods." The framework is composed of seven dimensions and has been adapted from four recognized, related frameworks. In addition to the in-depth review of related literature and the adapted comparison framework, researchers have conducted several interviews with healthcare BPI practitioners in different hospitals, to attain their opinions of BPI methods and tools used in their practices.
FINDINGS: The main results have indicated that significant improvements have been achieved by implementing BPIMs in the healthcare domain according to related literature. However, there were some shortfalls in the existing methods that need to be resolved. The most important of these has been the shortfall in representing and analyzing targeted domain knowledge during improvement phases. The tool currently used for representing the domain, specifically flowcharts, is very abstract and does not present the domain in a clear form. The flowchart tool also fails to clearly present the separation of concerns between business processes and the information systems processes that support a business in a given domain.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings of this study can be useful for BPI practitioners and researchers, mainly within the healthcare domain. The findings can help these groups to understand BPIMs shortfalls and encourage them to consider how BPIMs can be potentially improved.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This researchers of this paper have proposed a comparison framework for highlighting popular BPIMs in the healthcare domain, along with their uses and shortfalls. In addition, they have conducted a deep literature review based on the practical results obtained from different healthcare institutions implementing unique BPIMs around the world. There has also been valuable interview feedback attained from BPI leaders of specific hospitals in Saudi Arabia. This combination is expected to contribute to knowledge of BPIMs from both theoretical and practical points of view.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the economic burden of COPD in Malaysia, including direct costs for the management of COPD and indirect costs due to productivity losses for COPD patients.
METHODOLOGY: Overall, 150 patients with an established diagnosis of COPD were followed-up for a period of 1 year from August 2018 to August 2019. An activity-based costing, 'bottom-up' approach was used to calculate direct costs, while indirect costs of patients were assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire.
RESULTS: The mean annual per-patient direct cost for the management of COPD was calculated as US$506.92. The mean annual costs per patient in the management phase, emergency department visits, and hospital admissions were reported as US$395.65, US$86.4, and US$297.79, respectively; 31.66% of COPD patients visited the emergency department and 42.47% of COPD patients were admitted to the hospital due to exacerbation. The annual mean indirect cost per patient was calculated as US$1699.76. Productivity losses at the workplace were reported as 31.87% and activity limitations were reported as 17.42%.
CONCLUSION: Drugs and consumables costs were the main cost-driving factors in the management of COPD. The higher ratio of indirect cost to direct medical costs shows that therapeutic interventions aimed to prevent work productivity losses may reduce the economic burden of COPD.
METHODS: Published literature, information from statistical bureaus, clinician surveys and extrapolation of selected data from the European Union were used to determine the socioeconomic costs of AR and urticaria.
RESULTS: Many patients in Asia suffer from perennial allergies and experience symptoms of AR and urticaria for up to 298 days per year. An estimate of the indirect costs of patients insufficiently treated for AR and urticaria amounts to USD 105.4 billion a year, which equates to USD 1,137-2,195 per patient due to absenteeism and presenteeism. Adherence to guideline-approved treatment can lead to estimated savings of up to USD 104 billion.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study suggests that within Asia, the socioeconomic impact of AR and urticaria is similar to that seen in the European Union in spite of the lower wages in Asia. This is due to the mainly perennial allergens prevailing in Asia, whereas the sensitization patterns observed in the European Union are dominated by seasonal exposure to pollen. These results underline the need for governmental initiatives to increase public awareness on the prevention and treatment of these and other allergic diseases as well as greater research funding and large-scale studies to reduce their growing socioeconomic burden in coming years.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dental academics in Malaysian dental schools were invited to complete a questionnaire by email and post. The survey comprised questions on research activities in the past 12 months, socio-demographic and professional characteristics, and the R&D Culture Index. Principal components factor analysis was carried out to confirm the factor structure of the R&D Culture Index. Chi-square test was used to identify association of research activities with R&D culture, and socio-demographic and professional characteristics. Binary logistic regression was carried to identify predicators of research activities.
RESULTS: Of 256 potential participants contacted, 128 (50%) useable responses were returned. Three R&D Culture factors accounting for 57.4% of variance were extracted. More positive perception of R&D Support was associated with Malaysians (0.025) and those employed in Government schools (0.017). R&D Skills and Aptitude were associated with older respondents (0.050), PhD qualification (0.014) and more years in academia (0.014). R&D Intention was associated with any of the socio-demographic characteristics. Thirty (23.4%) respondents reported a peer-review research publication in the past 12 months, which was associated with having a PhD (OR 12.79, CI 1.28-127.96), after adjustment in regression analyses.
DISCUSSION: Postgraduate research training should be encouraged to promote participation in research activities. R&D culture did not appear to impact on research productivity. Other factors such as individual attitudinal interests should be studied.