Table 5

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

Characteristic

Whole sample (n = 502)

'Low burden' (n = 240)

'Moderate burden' (n = 140)

'High burden' (n = 122)

P value


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%)


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).

*Time needed for patients who did not require specific organization for daily care or who had no self-monitoring was considered 0.

Tran et al. BMC Medicine 2012 10:68   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-68

Open Data