Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: The economic burden and health service use of eating disorders have received little attention, although such data are necessary to estimate the implications of any changes in clinical practice for patient care and health care resource requirements. This systematic review reports the current international evidence on the resource use and cost of eating disorders. METHOD: Relevant literature (1980-2002) was identified from searches of electronic databases and expert contacts. RESULTS: Two cost-of-illness studies from the UK and Germany, one burden-of-disease study from Australia and 14 other publications with relevant data from the UK, USA, Austria, Denmark and The Netherlands could be identified. In the UK, the health care cost of anorexia nervosa was estimated to be 4.2 million UK pounds in 1990. In Germany, the health care cost was 65 million Euro for anorexia nervosa and 10 million Euro for bulimia nervosa during 1998. The Australian study reported the health care costs of eating disorders to be Aus $22 million for year 1993/1994. Other costing studies focused mostly on in-patient care reporting highly variable estimates. There is a dearth of research on non-health care costs. CONCLUSIONS: The limited available evidence reflects a general under-detection and under-treatment of eating disorders. Although both cost-of-illness studies may significantly underestimate the costs of eating disorders because of important omitted cost items, other evidence suggests that the economic burden is likely to be substantial. Comprehensive data on the resource use of patients with eating disorders are urgently needed for better estimations, and to be able to determine cost-effective treatment options.

Original publication

DOI

10.1017/S0033291705004708

Type

Journal

Psychol Med

Publication Date

11/2005

Volume

35

Pages

1543 - 1551

Keywords

Cost of Illness, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Health Care Costs, Health Services, Humans