Background The aim of this research was to examine the burden of (severe) fire-related injuries in Finland.
Methods All together twelve separate data sets were gathered for conducting the study. Finnish Hospital Discharge register (FHDR) was the core data in which the injured persons could be identified. The Causes of Death register was the data to identify fire-related deaths. Criteria of inclusion for further study were that a person had been to inpatient care or died. Data on sickness allowances, different kinds of rehabilitation funding, (disability) pensions were obtained from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Other types of disability allowances or pensions were obtained from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. Causes of Death data supplemented with socioeconomic data were obtained from Statistics Finland. A data from Statutory Accident Insurance was obtained to cover work-related accidents. A five-year sample of patients with fire-related burn was obtained from the Helsinki Burn Centre. The Finnish Hospital Discharge Register was available at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland. The whole study consisted of five sub-studies published in scientific journals.
Results Quality, usability and some methodological issues of using the FHDR were resolved. A descriptive epidemiological study on the injuries nationwide was conducted. Inpatient care costs were approximated nationwide. Indirect burden of fire-related deaths was reported. Finally, indirect costs and benefits of fire-related injuries were studied.
Conclusions Conducting an incidence-based cost of illness study requires detailed person-level data. Due to multiple sources and raw data being administrative on nature makes the research burdensome. Annually on average direct and indirect costs exceed EUR 40 million (population 5.4 million). Majority of the costs are indirect.
- economic burden
- productivity loss
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