Economic impact of early intervention in psychosis services: results from a longitudinal retrospective controlled study in England.
Tsiachristas A., Thomas T., Leal J., Lennox BR.
OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the costs, outcomes and economic impact of early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services. DESIGN: Longitudinal retrospective observational study of service usage and outcome data from mental health and acute care services for all those with a diagnosis of psychosis in contact with mental health services over a 3-year period (April 2010-March 2013). SETTING: Thames Valley and South Midlands region in England (region covered by Oxford Academic Health Science Network). PARTICIPANTS: 3674 people with psychosis, aged 16-35 years. INTERVENTIONS: EIP team or other community mental health teams. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in housing status, change in employment status and improvement on each of the four domains of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HONOS) questionnaire. Costs of mental and acute health inpatient, outpatient and community service use were also included in the study. RESULTS: Patients in EIP services were 116% more likely (95% CI 1.263 to 3.708) to gain employment, 52% more likely to become accommodated in a mainstream house (95% CI 0.988 to 2.326) and 17% more likely to have an improvement in the emotional well-being domain of the HONOS questionnaire (95% CI 1.067 to 1.285), as compared to those in non-EIP services. Annual National Health Service (NHS) costs were also significantly lower for patients using EIP services compared to non-users. The mean annual NHS cost savings associated with EIP were £4031 (95% CI £1281 to £6780). These mostly came from lower mental health inpatient costs (£4075, 95% CI £1164 to £6986), lower acute hospital outpatient costs (£59, 95% CI £9 to £109), lower accident and emergency costs (£31, 95% CI £12 to £51), and higher mental health community costs (£648, 95% CI £122 to £1175). If all people with a first-episode psychosis across England were to be treated by EIP services, the savings in societal costs would be an estimated £63.3 million per year, of which £33.5 million would be in NHS costs. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment within an EIP service is associated with better health and social outcomes, and reduced costs.