Studies on intermittent self catheterisation (ISC) with larger sample sizes are rare. The study presented below provides real-world evidence on ISC use, which may be used to form recommendations for improvement of care. This is one of the first publications that presents results of a 3-year observation period (including the time before and after initiating ISC).
Studies on intermittent catheterisation (ISC) with large sample sizes are rare and this study is among the first to study a 3-year observation period including time before and after initiating ISC. It provides real-world evidence on ISC use, which may be used to derive recommendations for improvement of care.
Approximately 90% of the German population is insured in statutory health insurances, therefore the results presented are highly representative of the care reality in Germany. It’s a well-established procedure in health care research and internationally recognised, and this study provides directional insights into the economic burden within the healthcare system.
This descriptive study was conducted using the InGef research database from the German statutory health insurance claims data system. Individuals who initiated ISC during 2013–2015 were included. The most common ISC indications were urologic diseases, Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis and Spina Bifida.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) were the most frequent complication, and in 61% it was shown to occur already in the year before starting ISC. Looking at follow-up data, 2-years after initiating ISC, it actually decreased to 50%. Interestingly, data referring to hospitalisations and length of stay in hospitals as well as prescriptions of antibiotics, showed the highest numbers before the individuals started ISC. This was true also for comorbidities, complications, and healthcare resource use. Follow-up data showed a decrease for these parameters from first to second year after initiating ISC therapy.
The current data demonstrated that ISC users experienced UTIs and high healthcare utilisation and a potential high burden of illness already prior to starting ISC. Regarding UTIs they were shown to decrease over time, suggesting that ISC use has a positive influence on reducing infections and burden of illness. To mitigate health care costs and further support better outcomes, ISC users should have continued access to products and therapies that best meet their unique bladder management needs. The findings from the current register data also showed that after a peak in the initial year of catheterisation, healthcare costs decreased again in the second year of follow-up.