Palliative treatment of colorectal cancer in Germany: cost of care and quality of life

Emmert M, Pohl-Dernick K, Wein A, Dörje F, Merkel S, Boxberger F, Männlein G, Joost R, Harich HD, Lamberti C, Neurath M, Hohenberger W, Thiemann R, Schöffski O (2012)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2012


Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)

Book Volume: 14

Pages Range: 629 - 638

Journal Issue: 4


DOI: 10.1007/s10198-012-0408-5



To estimate the costs of palliative care for colorectal cancer (CRC) from the perspective of German statutory health insurance and to measure the patients’ quality of life (QoL) for a 2-year time period.


A prospective observational multicentre study was carried out to estimate the direct costs of care over a 2-year period. Case report forms, medical records, and claims data were all applied to document medical and resource usage data in real-world settings. QoL was measured by using the Short Form-12 Health Survey.


In total 101 patients (mean age 67.09 ± 11.13 years, 68 % male) from 12 different settings were included. The mean costs per patient during the 1st and 2nd years were calculated to be 42,361€ and 32,023€, respectively. Highest mean costs were calculated for the second quarter, which reached an amount of 12,900€ (95 % CI: 11,127€–14,673€). Mean physical summary scores and mean mental summary scores were 41.8 and 49.7, respectively.


This is the first study assessing the costs of palliative care and the quality of life of patients with CRC in real-world health-care delivery in Germany. It could be shown that CRC treatment represents an enormous economic burden to the German health-care system. Increased efforts in promoting effective and efficient treatment options, or performance-based medication reimbursement schemes, might be helpful in reducing the costs.


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How to cite


Emmert, M., Pohl-Dernick, K., Wein, A., Dörje, F., Merkel, S., Boxberger, F.,... Schöffski, O. (2012). Palliative treatment of colorectal cancer in Germany: cost of care and quality of life. European Journal of Health Economics, 14(4), 629 - 638.


Emmert, Martin, et al. "Palliative treatment of colorectal cancer in Germany: cost of care and quality of life." European Journal of Health Economics 14.4 (2012): 629 - 638.

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