Cost-effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment-resistant depression in primary care: economic evaluation of the CoBalT Trial.
Hollinghurst S., Carroll FE., Abel A., Campbell J., Garland A., Jerrom B., Kessler D., Kuyken W., Morrison J., Ridgway N., Thomas L., Turner K., Williams C., Peters TJ., Lewis G., Wiles N.
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.