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Archived Comments for: The Economic impact of ME/CFS: Individual and societal costs

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  1. More information on what exactly was measured in Reynolds (2004) would have been useful

    Tom Kindlon, Irish ME/CFS Association - for Information, Support & Research

    9 June 2008

    An important part of this paper is the indirect cost estimates taken from Reynolds et al [1]. It would have been useful to have been given clear information on what was measured in that study.

    The current paper says at one point: "Indirect costs include transportation, work productivity losses, disability reimbursements, loss of leisure or duties at home, or services provided by family members, friends, or other informal care providers". However what Reynolds measured was the loss of productivity. It didn't not measure the cost of disability re-imbursements, for example.

    This would partly explain differences with some other figures. For example, a report published by Sheffield Halham University in the UK in 2003 estimated the cost to the UK at 3.467 billion pounds Sterling. It calculated the "cost to the nation" by adding together the figure for the lost taxes from people not working plus the cost of paying them disability payments.

    There could be said to be pluses and minuses with either method of course.

    Also, one other minor point: it might have been useful to point out that part of the reason there would be discrepancies between quoted studies is the effect of inflation. For example, we are told "Lloyd and Pender estimated an average cost of $9,436 per patient with ME/CFS, including about AU $2,000 per patient in direct medical costs". But we are not told in the text that the Lloyd and Pender study was published in 1992 (perhaps the figure was increased due to inflation but this has not been made clear).

    [1] Reynolds KJ, Vernon SD, Bouchery E, Reeves WC. The economic impact of chronic fatigue syndrome. Cost Eff Resour Alloc. 2004 Jun 21;2(1):4.

    [2] Lloyd AR, Pender H. The economic impact of chronic fatigue syndrome. Med J Aust. 1992 Nov 2;157(9):599-601.

    Competing interests

    No competing interests