Financial and Quality-of-Life Burden of Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding Among Women Agreeing To Obtain Surgical Treatment

Kevin D. Frick, Melissa A. Clark, Donald M. Steinwachs, Patricia Langenberg, Dale Stovall, Malcolm G. Munro, Kay Dickersin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: In this study, we sought to 1) describe elements of the financial and quality-of-life burden of dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) from the perspective of women who agreed to obtain surgical treatment; 2) explore associations between DUB symptom characteristics and the financial and quality-of-life burden; 3) estimate the annual dollar value of the financial burden; and 4) estimate the most that could be spent on surgery to eliminate DUB symptoms for which medical treatment has been unsuccessful that would result in a $50,000/quality-adjusted life-year incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Methods: We collected baseline data on DUB symptoms and aspects of the financial and quality-of-life burden for 237 women agreeing to surgery for DUB in a randomized trial comparing hysterectomy with endometrial ablation. Measures included out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenditures, excess expenditures on pads or tampons, the value of time missed from paid work and home management activities, and health utility. We used χ2 and t tests to assess the statistical significance of associations between DUB characteristics and the financial and quality-of-life burden. The annual financial burden was estimated. Results: Pelvic pain and cramps were associated with activity limitations and tiredness was associated with a lower health utility. Excess pharmaceutical and pad and tampon costs were $333 per patient per year (95% confidence interval [CI], $263-$403). Excess paid work and home management loss costs were $2,291 per patient per year (95% CI, $1847-$2752). Effective surgical treatment costing $40,000 would be cost-effective compared with unsuccessful medical treatment. Conclusion: The financial and quality-of-life effects of DUB represent a substantial burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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