Background: The number of patients with Parkinson’s disease among older adults is rapidly increasing. Such patients mostly take medication and require regular physician visits. However, the effect of physician visit frequency for the treatment for Parkinson’s disease has not been evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of physician visit frequency for Parkinson’s disease treatment on mortality, healthcare days, and healthcare and long-term care costs among older adults. Methods: This study employed a retrospective cohort design utilizing claims data from the Fukuoka Prefecture Wide-Area Association of Latter-Stage Elderly Healthcare Insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance. Patients aged ≥75 years who were newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014 were included in this study, following the onset of Parkinson’s disease to March 31, 2019. We calculated the restricted mean survival time to evaluate mortality, focusing on the frequency of physician visits for Parkinson’s disease treatment. Inpatient days, outpatient days, and healthcare and long-term care costs per month were calculated using a generalized linear model. Results: There were 2224 participants, with 46.5% mortality among those with a higher frequency of physician visits and 56.4% among those with a lower frequency of physician visits. A higher frequency of physician visits was associated with a significant increase in survival time (1.57 months at 24 months and 5.00 months at 60 months) after the onset of Parkinson’s disease and a decrease in inpatient days and healthcare costs compared to a lower frequency of physician visits. Conclusions: A higher frequency of physician visits was significantly associated with longer survival time, fewer inpatient days, and lower healthcare costs. Caregivers should support patients with Parkinson’s disease to visit physicians regularly for their treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology