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Keywords:

  • neutropenia;
  • fever;
  • neoplasms;
  • costs and cost analysis;
  • economics

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Treatment of febrile neutropenia (FN) is costly, because it typically involves hospitalization. As cancer rates continue to increase, the number of patients suffering from FN will also increase, making it important to quantify the costs of treating this condition accurately and comprehensively.

METHODS:

A consecutive sample of patients admitted to an inpatient hematology/oncology ward at a tertiary care hospital for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced FN was enrolled in this study. Patients were followed prospectively during hospitalization, and information on medical resource utilization including length of stay, medications, and laboratory and diagnostic tests was collected. Costs, extracted from hospital and provincial databases, were used to calculate the overall cost per FN episode, from the hospital perspective.

RESULTS:

Fifty-one episodes of FN that occurred in 46 patients were included in the study. Approximately 52% of these episodes occurred in women, and 65% of these episodes occurred in patients with hematologic malignancies. The mean ± standard deviation age of patients was 60.3 ± 13.4 years. The mean length of stay per episode was 6.8 ± 4.9 days. The mean overall cost per episode was 6324 ± 4783 in 2007 Canadian dollars.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hospitalization for the treatment of FN is expensive. The results of this study could be used in future economic evaluations of preventive measures and treatments for FN, including primary prophylactic administration of hematopoietic growth factors and outpatient treatment of this condition. Cancer 2010. © 2009 American Cancer Society.