(Reuters Health) – Children with a life-threatening illness receiving a special gift from the Make-a-Wish Foundation may have lower hospital costs than ill children who do not receive these gifts , the US study suggests.
Make-a-Wish organizes experiences, or "desires", for children with an increasing illness, which is a life threat or life-threatening.
Researchers compared unplanned hospital admissions and emergency room visits to 496 patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and a management group of 496 children with similar illnesses that did not receive a wish.
When compared to unwanted children, children who made 2.5 times more likely to have a discount in unplanned hospital admissions in the year after the wish compared to previous year , and 1.9 times more likely to have a reduction in an emergency room visits of the year before the year after, the study found.
In general, 62 per cent of children who received "wishes" had lower costs during the second year than during the first year, as 42 per cent of children did not receive "wishes".
"For the first time, we are able to measure the" desire "effect using healthcare use data such as emergency department visits, hospitals and costs," says lead study author Dr. Anup Patel or Nationwide Children.
"It's important for patients and families, as we have shown that the wish could allow the patient to be a larger home with their family, not losing a school, and save money for families in healthcare costs, "Patel said by e-mail.
US $ 10,130 is a national average cost, which covers the expenses associated with the wish experience including overhead and staffing needs, and researchers are in the journal Pediatrics Research .
In order to assess how "wishes" had been affected on health costs, researchers looked at hospital costs for children who received wishes and children who had not considered cases whether the payments were equally or more or less Typical cost of $ 10,130 of wish.
A higher percentage of children who received "desires" achieved health costs that were less than the experiences or the gifts they received. This, which the researchers collect, suggests that an additional benefit of the Make-to-Wish program may be lower than hospital costs or lower medical bills.
"We're not sure why we've seen these results," said Patel.
"However, I wonder if Wish allows a patient to be more related to their family and medical team to where they are more involved in their care and possibly more complementary to treatments," said Patel. "In addition, I think that there is a benefit to health when people experience good things like Wish that make them happier."
There is still a need for further research to check these results and to understand why "wishes" could help prevent health use or health spending, Patel warned.
When parents believe that children can benefit from some special experiences to take their thoughts away sick but can not get a formal "wish" they can continue to try other things.
"If" wishes "are not possible, I can recommend a break of illness where children can be children," said Patel.
"It does not have to be an expensive trip, it can be a play time or a fun time for the family," said Patel. "Maybe we'll be able to see the same results, but I'm not sure."
SOURCE: https://go.nature.com/2BbKjQj Pediatric Research, online October 18, 2018.