Study design: Literature Review (Narrative).
Objective: To contextualize AO Spine RECODE-DCM research priority number 5: What is the socio-economic impact of DCM? (The financial impact of living with DCM to the individual, their supporters, and society as a whole).
Methods: In this review, we introduce the methodology of health-economic investigation, including potential techniques and approaches. We summarize the current health-economic evidence within DCM, so far focused on surgical treatment. We also cover the first national estimate, in partnership with Myelopathy.org from the United Kingdom, of the cost of DCM to society. We then demonstrate the significance of this question to advancing care and outcomes in the field.
Results: DCM is a common and often disabling condition, with a significant lack of recognition. While evidence demonstrates the cost-effectives of surgery, even among higher income countries, health inequalities exist. Further the prevalent residual disability in myelopathy, despite treatment affects both the individual and society as a whole. A report from the United Kingdom provides the first cost-estimate to their society; an annual cost of ∼£681.6 million per year, but this is likely a significant underestimate.
Conclusion: A clear quantification of the impact of DCM is needed to raise the profile of a common and disabling condition. Current evidence suggests this is likely to be globally substantial.
Davies, Benjamin M; Phillips, Richard; Clarke, David; Furlan, Julio C; Demetriades, Andreas K; Milligan, Jamie; Witiw, Christopher D; Harrop, James; Aarabi, Bizhan; Kurpad, Shekar N; Guest, James D; Wilson, Jefferson R; Kwon, Brian K; Vaccaro, Alex R.; Fehlings, Michael G; Rahimi-Movaghar, Vafa; and Kotter, Mark R N, "Establishing the Socio-Economic Impact of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy Is Fundamental to Improving Outcomes [AO Spine RECODE-DCM Research Priority Number 8]" (2022). Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Faculty Papers. Paper 171.
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