The burden of illness in initiating intermittent catheterization: an analysis of German health care claims data.

Intermittent catheterization (IC) is a common medical technique to drain urine from the bladder when this is no longer possible by natural means. The objective of this study was to evaluate the standard of care and the burden of illness in German individuals who perform intermittent catheterization and obtain recommendations for improvement of care.

A descriptive study with a retrospective, longitudinal cohort design was conducted using the InGef research database from the German statutory health insurance claims data system. The study consisted of individuals with initial IC use in 2013-2015.

Within 3 years 1100 individuals with initial IC were identified in the database (~ 19,000 in the German population). The most common IC indications were urologic diseases, spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis and Spina Bifida. Urinary tract infections (UTI) were the most frequent complication occurring 1 year before index (61%) and in follow-up (year 1 60%; year 2 50%). Resource use in pre-index including hospitalizations (65%), length of stay (12.8 ± 20.0 days), physician visits (general practitioner: 15.2 ± 29.1), prescriptions of antibiotics (71%) and healthcare costs (€17,950) were high. Comorbidities, complications, and healthcare resource use were highest 1 year before index, decreasing from first to second year after index.

The data demonstrated that prior to initial catheterization, IC users experienced UTIs and high healthcare utilization. While this demonstrates a potential high burden of illness prior to initial IC, UTIs also decreased over time, suggesting that IC use may have a positive influence. The findings also showed that after the first year of initial catheterization the cost decreased. Further studies are needed to better understand the extent of the burden for IC users compared to non-IC users.

BMC urology. 2021 Apr 08*** epublish ***

Almuth Angermund, Gary Inglese, Jimena Goldstine, Laura Iserloh, Berit Libutzki

Department of Neuro-Urology, Schön Clinic, Vogtareuth, Germany., Hollister Incorporated, 2000 Hollister Drive, Libertyville, IL, 60048-3781, USA., Hollister Incorporated, 2000 Hollister Drive, Libertyville, IL, 60048-3781, USA. ., HGC Healthcare Consultants GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany.