Healthcare and wider societal implications of stillbirth: a population-based cost of illness study.
Campbell HE., Kurinczuk JJ., Heazell AEP., Leal J., Rivero-Arias O.
OBJECTIVES: To extend previous work and estimate health and social care costs, litigation costs, funeral related costs, and productivity losses associated with stillbirth in the UK. DESIGN: A population-based cost of illness study using a synthesis of secondary data. SETTING: The NHS and wider society in the UK. POPULATION: Stillbirths occurring within a 12-month period and subsequent events occurring over the following two years. METHODS: Costs were estimated using published data on events, resource use, and unit costs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean health and social care costs, litigation costs, funeral related costs, and productivity costs to two years, reported for a single stillbirth and at a national level. RESULTS: Mean health and social care costs per stillbirth were £4,020. Additionally, funeral related costs were £559, and workplace absence (parents and healthcare professionals) was estimated to cost £3,829 per stillbirth. For the UK, annual health and social care costs were estimated at £13.1 million and total productivity losses amounted to £706.1 million (98% of this cost was attributable to the loss of life of the baby). Figures for the latter were sensitive to the perspective adopted about the loss of life of the baby. CONCLUSION: This work expands the current intelligence on the costs of stillbirth beyond the health service to costs for parents and society, yet these additional findings must still be regarded as conservative estimates of the true economic costs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.