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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Contact frequency, travel time, and travel costs for patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Objectives. To investigate travel time, and travel cost related to contacts with health care providers for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during a three-month period. Methods. Patient-reported travel time and travel cost were obtained from 2847 patients with RA. Eleven outpatient clinics across Denmark recruited patients to the study. Data collected included frequency, travel time and travel costs for contacts at rheumatology outpatient clinics, other outpatient clinics, general practitioners, privately practicing medical specialists, inpatient hospitals and accident and emergency departments. Results. Over a 3-month period, patients with RA had on average 4.4 (sd 5.7) contacts with health care providers, of which 2.8 (sd 4.0) contacts were with rheumatology outpatient clinics. Private car and public travel were the most frequent modes of travel. The average patient spent 63 minutes and 13 € on travelling per contact, corresponding to a total of 4.6 hours and 56 € during the 3-month period. There was great variation in patient travel time and costs, but no statistically significant associations were found with clinical and sociodemographic characteristics. Conclusion. The results show that patients with RA spend private time and costs on travelling when they seek treatment. These findings are particularly important when analyzing social costs associated with RA.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Int J Rheumatol. 2014;2014:285951

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ID: 44692110