Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Utilization of Health Services and Out-Of-Pocket Health Expenditures in Greece



Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe progressive disease with poor prognosis. Patients show an increased healthcare utilization pattern consisting of regular physician consultations and monitoring tests. The aim of the present study was to estimate healthcare resource utilization and out-of-pocket expenditures for IPF patients in Greece.


An IPF-specific questionnaire was constructed, which focused on retrospective healthcare resource utilization and out-of-pocket expenditures within a 6-month period. Upon informed consent, the questionnaires were completed anonymously.


The study sample included 123 IPF patients. Within a 6-month period, 85.4% of the patients visited their treating physician (mean, 2.35; standard deviation [SD], 1.400), 29.4% visited other physicians for IPF-related reasons (mean, 1.90; SD, 1.595), 42.9% visited a healthcare setting, and 10.6% required hospitalization (mean duration, 2.86 days; SD, 3.338). Spirometry (98.1%) and blood tests (88.5%) were the most common tests for IPF monitoring. Almost half of the respondents (48.6%) stated they had private expenditures for IPF medication, physician visits, hospital services, medical tests, or other IPF-related reasons.


IPF management requires regular contact with healthcare services and uptake of specific medical tests. Considering the high proportion of patients bearing out-of-pocket costs, along with the decline of incomes in Greece, improvement of the disease management is important, and action should be taken to lower the financial burden imposed on patients.


Panagiota Naoum Kostas Athanasakis Anastasis Skroumpelos John Kyriopoulos

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