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Public financial support receipt and non-medical resource utilization in Alzheimer's disease results from the PLASA study

  • Rapp, Thomas
  • Grand, Alain
  • Cantet, Christelle
  • Andrieu, Sandrine
  • Coley, Nicola
  • Portet, Florence
  • Vellas, Bruno

A major health policy objective is to encourage and sustain informal caregiving networks for people with Alzheimer's disease (AD). This goal can be reached by providing financial assistance to patients facing difficulties in the accomplishment of activities of daily living, in order to encourage utilization of professional service and therefore alleviate informal caregiver burden. The main issue is to understand if and how financial assistance is correlated with the distribution between informal and professional care. We used a cross-sectional sample of 1131 French elderly patients (>=65) with mild to moderate AD. Informal and professional service resource use was measured in hours per month using a validated instrument, the Resource Use in Dementia questionnaire. Our results confirmed the utter dominance of informal care, which represented more than 80% of total care even among patients receiving public financial support. However financial support receipt was associated with differences in care utilization: higher use of total non-medical care (formal and informal) and lower proportion of informal care in total non-medical care. Our results suggested the presence of a threshold effect that would influence non-medical care demand decisions. Even if on average the use of informal care in total was 13.3% lower among patients receiving public financial support, informal care use represented more than 80% of total non-medical care use. Providing robust evidence of these associations is crucial to further identify the right dosage between professional service demand and informal care utilization that could be associated with a lower burden and therefore a lower probability of institutionalization.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (April)
Pages: 1310-1316

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:8:p:1310-1316
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