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The impact of spousal bereavement on hospitalisations: Evidence from the Scottish Longitudinal Study

Fu‐Min Tseng, Dennis Petrie (), Shaolin Wang, Colin Macduff and Audrey I. Stephen

Health Economics, 2018, vol. 27, issue 2, e120-e138

Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of spousal bereavement on hospital inpatient use for the surviving bereaved by following the experience of 94,272 married Scottish individuals from 1991 until 2009 using a difference‐in‐difference model. We also consider the sample selection issues related to differences in survival between the bereaved and non‐bereaved using a simple Cox Proportional‐Hazard model. Before conducting these estimations, propensity score approaches are used to re‐weight the non‐bereaved to generate a more random‐like comparison sample for the bereaved. We find that those bereaved who survive are both more likely to be admitted and to stay longer in hospital than a comparable non‐bereaved cohort. Bereavement is estimated to induce on average an extra 0.24 (95% CI [0.15, 0.33]) hospital inpatient days per year. Similar to previous studies, we estimate the bereaved have a 19.2% (95% CI [12.5%, 26.3%]) higher mortality rate than the comparable non‐bereaved cohort.

Date: 2018
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