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The cost of mental and physical health disability in childhood and adolescence to families in the UK: findings from a repeated cross-sectional survey using propensity score matching

Solmi, F; Melnychuk, M; Morris, S; (2018) The cost of mental and physical health disability in childhood and adolescence to families in the UK: findings from a repeated cross-sectional survey using propensity score matching. BMJ Open , 8 (2) , Article e018729. 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018729. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: In the UK, families of disabled children are entitled to receive disability benefits to help meet costs associated with caring for their child. Evidence of actual costs incurred is scant, especially for mental health disability. In this study, we aimed to quantify the cost of mental and physical health disability in childhood and adolescence to families in the UK using the concept of compensating variation (CV). / Design: Repeated cross-sectional survey. / Setting: The UK general population. / Participants: 85 212 children drawn from 8 waves of the Family Resources Survey. / Outcomes: Using propensity score matching we matched families with a disabled child to similar families without a disabled child and calculated the extra income the former require to achieve the same living standards as the latter, that is, their CV. We calculated the additional costs specifically associated with several definitions of mental health and physical health disability. / Results: Families of a child with any mental health disability, regardless of the presence of physical health comorbidity, needed an additional £49.31 (95% CI: 21.95 to 76.67) and, for more severe disabilities, an additional £57.56 (95% CI: 17.69 to 97.44) per week to achieve the same living standards of families without a disabled child. This difference was greater for more deprived families, who needed between £59.28 (95% CI: 41.38 to 77.18) and £81.26 (95% CI: 53.35 to 109.38) more per week depending on the extent of mental health disability. Families of children with physical health disabilities, with or without mental health disabilities, required an additional £35.86 (95% CI: 13.77 to 57.96) per week, with economically deprived families requiring an extra £42.18 (95% CI: 26.38 to 57.97) per week. / Conclusions: Mental and physical health disabilities among children and adolescents were associated with high additional costs for the family, especially for those from deprived economic backgrounds. Means testing could help achieve a more equitable redistribution of disability benefit.

Type: Article
Title: The cost of mental and physical health disability in childhood and adolescence to families in the UK: findings from a repeated cross-sectional survey using propensity score matching
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018729
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018729
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10028051
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