Skip to main content

Table 1 Calculations and definitions of cost variables as used in analyses of cost burden and catastrophic cost for Bolivian children (n = 551) seeking treatment for acute diarrhea, 2007 – 2009

From: The economic burden of pediatric gastroenteritis to Bolivian families: a cross-sectional study of correlates of catastrophic cost and overall cost burden

Variable Calculation
Direct Medical Costs1 Sum of fees or costs associated with diagnostics, cost of medication, consultation fees, and any costs of previous treatment for this diarrheal episode.
Direct Non-Medical Costs1 Sum of costs of transportation to and from the appointment (and previous appointments for this diarrheal episode), food bought during the hospital visit (which caregivers perceived as otherwise unnecessary), extra diapers purchased during the visit (perceived as above a family’s standard supply), and childcare for the caregiver’s other children during the episode.
Total Direct Costs1 Sum of medical and non-medical direct costs.
Indirect Costs1 Sum of lost wages by caregiver and his or her spouse, based on the caregiver’s report of 1) salary for herself and her spouse, and 2) the number of days of work missed by herself and her spouse due to this diarrheal episode.
Total Incurred Costs1 Sum of Total Direct and Total Indirect Costs.
Annual Household Income Sum of reported monthly incomes for the caregiver and spouse, multiplied by 12. Where caregiver salary was missing and the caregiver reported having no job or being a homemaker, caregiver salary was set to zero (n = 305). Where spousal salary was missing and the spouse was reported as jobless, spousal salary was set to zero (n = 16). Otherwise, missing salaries were left missing. If at least one parent reported a salary, then the household income equaled the value reported by the salary-generating parent. If both parents had missing salaries, then the household income was considered missing data and excluded from analysis.
Cost Burden2 Total Incurred Costs divided by the Annual Household Income and expressed as a percentage.
Catastrophic Cost2 Cost Burden greater than or equal to 1% of annual income, approximately 10% of monthly income. Research suggests that this is an appropriate cut-off for hardship, in low-income settings.
  1. 1Based on definitions from the WHO guidelines for assessing the cost burden of diarrhea [17].
  2. 2Consistent with definitions by Weraphong et al. [29].