Skip to main content

Table 5 Characteristics of groups clustered by the hierarchical ascendant classification (n = 502 patients)

From: Development and description of measurement properties of an instrument to assess treatment burden among patients with multiple chronic conditions

Characteristic Whole sample (n = 502) 'Low burden' (n = 240) 'Moderate burden' (n = 140) 'High burden' (n = 122) Pvalue
Global score 30.1 ± 25.3 11.3 ± 9.2 34.6 ± 11.1 65.8 ± 18.1 < 0.0001
Age, years 59.3 ± 17.0 62.9 ± 16.1 59.2 ± 17.9 52.2 ± 15.6 < 0.0001
Female sex, no. (%) 266 118 (49.2%) 78 (55.7%) 70 (57.8%) 0.23
Marital status      0.19
Married 216 105 (45.3%) 60 (43.5%) 51 (42.9%)  
Live in partner 38 13 (5.6%) 12 (8.7%) 13 (10.9%)  
Single/separated 171 76 (32.8%) 49 (35.5%) 46 (38.7%)  
Widowed 64 38 (16.4%) 17 (12.3%) 9 (7.6%)  
Highest education level, no. (%)      0.76
No diploma/primary school 85 43 (19.9%) 23 (17.6%) 19 (17.1%)  
Secondary/high school 195 96 (44.4%) 54 (41.2%) 45 (40.5%)  
College 178 77 (35.6%) 54 (41.2%) 47 (42.3%)  
Inpatient, no. (percentage of the whole sample) 257 105 (43.7%) 84 (60.0%) 68 (55.7%) 0.004
Duration of disease, years 15.0 ± 15.4 16.3 ± 16.5 14.5 ± 16.7 13.3 ± 10.7 0.34
Presence of daily symptoms 300 110 (48.0%) 93 (70.4%) 97 (82.2%) < 0.0001
Need for assistance, no. (%) 132 45 (18.8%) 41 (29.3%) 46 (38.0%) 0.0003
Number of hospitalizations during the last 12 months 1.1 ± 1.9 0.9 ± 1.8 1.2 ± 1.9 1.5 ± 2.1 0.0004
Number of medical appointments/month 2.3 ± 3.4 1.5 ± 1.6 2.6 ± 3.3 3.6 ± 5.2 < 0.0001
Number of different physicians 2.4 ± 1.4 2.1 ± 1.3 2.4 ± 1.3 2.9 ± 1.4 < 0.0001
Number of tablets/day 5.4 ± 4.5 4.5 ± 4.1 5.7 ± 3.9 7.0 ± 5.5 < 0.0001
Number of drug intakes/day 1.9 ± 1.0 1.8 ± 1.0 2.0 ± 1.0 2.1 ± 1.1 0.07
Number of injections/day 0.5 ± 1.3 0.2 ± 0.9 0.3 ± 0.9 1.3 ± 1.9 < 0.0001
Diet, no. (%) 198 75 (31.9%) 57 (42.2%) 66 (54.5%) 0.0002
Physical therapy, no. (%) 113 45 (19.2%) 33 (23.9%) 35 (28.9%) 0.11
Oxygen therapy, no. (%) 22 5 (2.1%) 8 (5.7%) 9 (7.4%) 0.05
Time needed to organize drugs/week* 22 ± 92 min 17 ± 100 min 13 ± 51 min 43 ± 108 min < 0.0001
Need for self-monitoring, no. (%) 168 61 (25.4%) 36 (25.7%) 71 (58.2%) < 0.0001
Time needed for self-monitoring/week* 14 ± 66 min 5 ± 31 min 10 ± 67 min 37 ± 101 min < 0.0001
Presence of side effects, no. (%) 168 46 (20.9%) 56 (43.1%) 66 (58.4%) < 0.0001
Patient considers his treatment efficient, no. (%) 317 176 (73.3%) 74 (52.9%) 67 (54.9%) < 0.0001
Main chronic condition, no. (%)      < 0.0001
Diabetes 81 25 (10.7%) 14 (10.1%) 42 (35.0%)  
Rheumatologic diseases 59 25 (10.7%) 21 (15.2%) 13 (10.8%)  
Pulmonary diseases (other than asthma) 40 23 (9.9%) 12 (8.7%) 5 (4.2%)  
High blood pressure and dyslipidemia 44 29 (12.4%) 9 (6.5%) 6 (5.0%)  
Asthma 37 23 (9.9%) 8 (5.8%) 6 (5.0%)  
Systemic diseases 43 16 (6.9%) 13 (9.4%) 14 (11.7%)  
  1. Patients were clustered in three groups depending on the similarity of their responses to the instrument. Global score was 11.3 (± 9.2) in the first cluster, 34.6 (± 11.1) in the second cluster and 65.8 (± 18.1) in the third cluster. Therefore, we defined the clusters as patients with low, moderate and high burden of treatment. Continuous variables are presented as mean ± SE. Categorical variables are presented as proportion of the corresponding subgroup. Associations between continuous variables among different classes were determined by Wilcoxon test. Qualitative variables are presented by their frequency in the whole sample. Associations between qualitative variables among different classes were determined by the χ2 test. Global score is the sum of all items scores of the questionnaire with 'Does not apply' and missing answers considered the lowest possible score (0).
  2. *Time needed for patients who did not require specific organization for daily care or who had no self-monitoring was considered 0.