Objectives: We conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the socioeconomic systems supporting outpatients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Japan.
Methods: The study was performed in 2013 at two private hospitals and one clinic in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. A survey was conducted with 248 consecutive PD patients, and the data from 237 PD outpatients were analyzed after excluding 11 patients who did not meet inclusion criteria. Monthly medical and transportation payments as a PD outpatient were selected as outcome variables, and their association with various explanatory variables, such as utilization of support systems for PD outpatients, were evaluated using logistic regression model analysis.
Results: After controlling for potential confounding variables, the utilization of the system providing financial aid for treatment for patients with intractable disease was significantly inversely associated with monthly medical payment among PD outpatients (OR 0.46; 95% CI, 0.22–0.95). Experience of hospital admission for PD treatment was significantly positively associated with monthly transportation payment (OR 4.74; 95% CI, 2.18–10.32). Monthly medical payment was also significantly positively associated with monthly transportation payment (OR 4.01; 95% CI, 2.23–7.51).
Conclusions: Use of Japanese public financial support systems may be associated with reductions in medical payments for PD outpatients. However, those systems may not have supported transportation payments, and higher transportation payments may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization.
2015 Aiko Matsushima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.