Objective: Functional neurological disorder (FND) is frequently encountered in clinical practice but commonly misdiagnosed, which might lead to higher direct costs for the health care system. The investigators analyzed the direct costs associated with the diagnosis of FND compared with costs associated with other neurological conditions and explored possible cost trends related to the clinical and demographic features of FND. Methods: Consecutive patients attending a general neurology clinic were recruited and underwent a structured assessment aimed to collect information pertaining to their demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as data regarding their prior diagnostic processes (e.g., the number of consulted specialists, number and type of investigations, emergency department visits, etc.). The costs were hence calculated and compared between the study groups. Results: A total of 155 consecutive patients were recruited; of these, 18.6% had FND, 55.84% had one or more other neurological disorder (OND), and 27.10% presented with comorbid FND and OND. The total prediagnostic costs (in euros [€]) were higher in the FND group compared with the OND group (median=€289, interquartile range [IQR] €385 vs. median=€98, IQR €216; Mann-Whitney U=879.5, p=0.04). There was a higher diagnostic delay in the FND group compared with the OND group (median=48 months, IQR 60 months vs. median=12 months, IQR 6 months; Mann-Whitney U=162.00, p<0.01). Diagnostic delay significantly correlated with the total costs in the entire study sample (Spearman's ρ=0.25, p=0.003) but more strongly in the FND group (Spearman's ρ=0.81, p<0.001). In the FND group, higher numbers of investigations and costs were associated with the presence of a physiological or psychological trigger and multiple symptoms. Conclusions: Delayed diagnosis of FND significantly affects health care system costs, and raising awareness about FND to improve the diagnostic process and outcomes is necessary.

Higher Health Service Costs Associated With Delayed Diagnosis of Functional Neurological Disorder

Cuoco, Sofia;Carotenuto, Imma;Picillo, Marina;Pellecchia, Maria Teresa;Barone, Paolo;Erro, Roberto
2023-01-01

Abstract

Objective: Functional neurological disorder (FND) is frequently encountered in clinical practice but commonly misdiagnosed, which might lead to higher direct costs for the health care system. The investigators analyzed the direct costs associated with the diagnosis of FND compared with costs associated with other neurological conditions and explored possible cost trends related to the clinical and demographic features of FND. Methods: Consecutive patients attending a general neurology clinic were recruited and underwent a structured assessment aimed to collect information pertaining to their demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as data regarding their prior diagnostic processes (e.g., the number of consulted specialists, number and type of investigations, emergency department visits, etc.). The costs were hence calculated and compared between the study groups. Results: A total of 155 consecutive patients were recruited; of these, 18.6% had FND, 55.84% had one or more other neurological disorder (OND), and 27.10% presented with comorbid FND and OND. The total prediagnostic costs (in euros [€]) were higher in the FND group compared with the OND group (median=€289, interquartile range [IQR] €385 vs. median=€98, IQR €216; Mann-Whitney U=879.5, p=0.04). There was a higher diagnostic delay in the FND group compared with the OND group (median=48 months, IQR 60 months vs. median=12 months, IQR 6 months; Mann-Whitney U=162.00, p<0.01). Diagnostic delay significantly correlated with the total costs in the entire study sample (Spearman's ρ=0.25, p=0.003) but more strongly in the FND group (Spearman's ρ=0.81, p<0.001). In the FND group, higher numbers of investigations and costs were associated with the presence of a physiological or psychological trigger and multiple symptoms. Conclusions: Delayed diagnosis of FND significantly affects health care system costs, and raising awareness about FND to improve the diagnostic process and outcomes is necessary.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4814518
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