Despite interest in the costs associated with HIV infection, little useful information exists to aid those planning patient care. The results of costing studies, which are mainly North American, are difficult to apply to the National Health Service. Moreover, they have generally ignored HIV infection before formal diagnosis of AIDS. A patient profile approach was devised to supply data on the type, amount and cost of services supplied to patients in the Northern region. This method produces longitudinal treatment and cost profiles, and provides a temporal perspective, which is essential given the speed at which care has changed to date. This method also allows identification of a wide array of services, costs and social factors. This paper describes a pilot study to develop and test these methods. The sample of 24 randomly selected patients constituted a heterogeneous group; the individuals affected, the type and number of services supplied and costs all varied widely. A typical patient could not be described. Our results illustrate the powerful analyses which this approach permits. Further application will allow improved evaluation of the overall costs and the effects of different patterns of care.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 1993|