Welfare consequences for people diagnosed with nonepileptic seizures: A matched nationwide study in Denmark

Poul Jennum, Rikke Ibsen, Jakob Kjellberg


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the excess direct and indirect costs associated with nonepileptic seizures.

METHODS: From the Danish National Patient Registry (2011-2016), we identified 1057 people of any age with a diagnosis of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNESs) and matched them with 2113 control individuals. Additionally, 239 partners of patients with PNES aged ≥18 years were identified and compared with 471 control partners. Direct costs included frequencies and costs of hospitalizations and outpatient use weighted by diagnosis-related group, and specific outpatient costs based on data from the Danish Ministry of Health. The use and costs of drugs were based on data from the Danish Medicines Agency. The frequencies of visits and hospitalizations and costs of general practice were derived from National Health Security data. Indirect costs included labor supply-based income data, and all social transfer payments were obtained from Coherent Social Statistics.

RESULTS: A higher percentage of people with PNES and their partners compared with respective control subjects received welfare benefits (sick pay, disability pension, home care). Those with PNES had a lower employment rate than did controls for equivalent periods up to three years before the diagnosis was made. The additional direct and indirect annual costs for those aged ≥18 years, including transfers to patients with PNES, compared with controls, were €33,697 for people with PNES and €15,121 for their partners.

SIGNIFICANCE: Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures have substantial socioeconomic consequences for individual patients, their partners, and society.

TidsskriftEpilepsy and Behavior
Udgave nummerPt A
Sider (fra-til)59-65
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019


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