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The Costs of Schizophrenia.

Joseph P. McEvoy, MD

Published: December 14, 2007

Article Abstract

Reasonably accurate approximations of the financial costs of schizophrenia are the foundation for making judgments about the socioeconomic impact of the disorder and the cost-effectiveness of treatment modalities. The financial costs of schizophrenia to society can be divided into direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include treatment provided in inpatient, outpatient, and long-term care, as well as criminal justice costs, medication costs, and publicly owned capital such as state mental health facilities. Indirect costs mostly arise from the productivity loss suffered by individuals with schizophrenia, family members, and caregivers. The cost of schizophrenia in the United States in 2002 was estimated to be $62.7 billion. Compared with a 1991 estimate, inpatient costs have declined, whereas outpatient costs and medication costs have increased. When interpreting any data regarding costs, people should be aware of factors that influence results, such as the perspective from which the analysis was undertaken, the measures used in the analysis, and planned or unplanned bias.

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