Cost-effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment-resistant depression in primary care: economic evaluation of the CoBalT Trial

Sandra Hollinghurst, Fran E Carroll, Anna Abel, John Campbell, Anne Garland, Bill Jerrom, David Kessler, Willem Kuyken, Jill Morrison, Nicola Ridgway, Laura Thomas, Katrina Turner, Chris Williams, Tim J Peters, Glyn Lewis, Nicola Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Depression is expensive to treat, but providing ineffective treatment is more expensive. Such is the case for many patients who do not respond to antidepressant medication.

AIMS: To assess the cost-effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) plus usual care for primary care patients with treatment-resistant depression compared with usual care alone.

METHOD: Economic evaluation at 12 months alongside a randomised controlled trial. Cost-effectiveness assessed using a cost-consequences framework comparing cost to the health and social care provider, patients and society, with a range of outcomes. Cost-utility analysis comparing health and social care costs with quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).

RESULTS: The mean cost of CBT per participant was £910. The difference in QALY gain between the groups was 0.057, equivalent to 21 days a year of good health. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was £14 911 (representing a 74% probability of the intervention being cost-effective at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence threshold of £20 000 per QALY). Loss of earnings and productivity costs were substantial but there was no evidence of a difference between intervention and control groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of CBT to usual care is cost-effective in patients who have not responded to antidepressants. Primary care physicians should therefore be encouraged to refer such individuals for CBT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume204
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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