Health care costs are one of the most significant challenges in modern medicine. In gynecology, diagnosing and excluding EP is a financial burden to health services because it commonly requires multiple investigations and hospital visits. This study, therefore, aimed to assess the indirect costs to patients of diagnosing and excluding EP.

Patients were presenting to a Pregnancy Support Centre with abdominal pain and bleeding and researchers recruited a positive pregnancy test. Patients were provided with questionnaires to be completed at home and designed to record.

52/203 recruited patients returned completed questionnaires. The mean cost to patients of diagnosing or excluding EP was £135.13±£51.60. The main cost drivers identified were hospital visits, holiday cancellations, income loss, and household help.

The study concluded that quantification of the indirect costs of diagnosing and excluding EP is challenging because it relies on questionnaire feedback from patients when they have suffered from the emotional impact of pregnancy loss. However, initial estimates suggest that such costs are significant due to diagnostic delays. The research further highlights the importance of the development of potential biomarkers of EP to allow prompt diagnosis.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/39/3/197