Objectives: This study aimed to examine five-year trajectories of hospital service utilization among individuals living with epilepsy in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, and to identify factors predictive of trajectory group membership. Methods: This study used group-based trajectory modeling of hospital admissions over a five-year period for individuals living with epilepsy who had an epilepsy-related hospitalization during 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012 in NSW, Australia (n = 5762). Results: The analysis revealed the following five distinct hospital service utilization trajectory groups: “one-off users” (Group 1; 22.9%), “low-chronic users” (Group 2; 47.1%), “moderate-declining users” (Group 3; 10.3%), “moderate-chronic users” (Group 4; 18.3%), and “high-chronic users” (Group 5; 1.5%). There were key features that defined trajectory group membership, in particular the relative proportions of group members with chronic health conditions, other comorbid conditions, refractory epilepsy, and status epilepticus. For instance, “high-chronic users” (Group 5) had higher proportions of individuals with chronic health conditions (34.8%) and refractory epilepsy (19.1%); “moderate-declining users” (Group 3) had higher proportions of individuals with chronic health conditions (35.1%) and status epilepticus (9.8%); and “low-chronic users” (Group 2) had the lowest proportion of individuals with chronic health conditions. Conclusion: It is important to gain a better understanding of hospital service utilization among individuals living with epilepsy. This research has identified trajectory groups of hospital service utilization profiles of individuals living with epilepsy. Identification of predictors of trajectory group membership allows targeting of strategies to reduce hospital admissions, inform healthcare service delivery, and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals living with epilepsy.
- Group-based trajectory modeling
- Health service utilization