The high cost of care and limited evidence on cost-effective strategies for Lewy body dementia: systematic review of evidence

Boland Erin, Rachel Fitzpatrick, Dearbhail Ryan, Joseph Kane, Sara Betzhold, Iracema Leroi, Irina Kinchin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a prevalent yet frequently underdiagnosed form of dementia, accounting for up to 15% of all dementia cases.

This study aims to increase awareness and advocacy for LBD by gathering and critically assessing the economic evidence, including the cost of illness and cost-effectiveness of interventions for managing LBD.

A systematic literature review was undertaken with EMBASE, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, NHS Economic Evaluation Database and EconLit. This search was supplemented by grey literature on Google Scholar and reviewing the reference lists of identified studies. The papers included in the review were published between 2008 and 2023, and involved participants with LBD (dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinson's disease dementia), which either addressed the cost of illness or conducted an economic evaluation.

Thirteen papers were included, comprising ten cost-of-illness studies and three economic evaluations. The cost of LBD tends to be higher than that of other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, and these costs escalate more steeply as the disease progresses. These cost differences may not be solely influenced by the subtype of dementia, but possibly also by patient characteristics like physical and cognitive abilities. Cost-effectiveness of potential interventions for LBD is limited.

Despite numerous drug trials and other interventions for dementia, very few have targeted LBD, let alone explored the cost-effectiveness of such therapies for LBD. This disparity highlights the urgent need for cost-effective strategies and interventions targeting LBD. We propose the establishment of universally accepted standards for LBD research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20
Number of pages7
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jan 2024


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