Cost-effectiveness of preventing depression in primary care patients: Randomised trial

Filip Smit*, Godelief Willemse, Marc Koopmanschap, Simone Onrust, Pim Cuijpers, Aartjan Beekman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Little is known about the cost-effectiveness of preventing mental disorders. Aims: To study the cost-effectiveness of care as usual plus minimal contact psychotherapy relative to usual care alone in preventing depressive disorder. Method: An economic evaluation was conducted alongside a randomised clinical trial. Primary care patients with sub-threshold depression were assigned to minimal contact psychotherapy plus usual care (n=107) or to usual care alone (n=109). Results: Primary care patients with sub-threshold depression benefited from minimal contact psychotherapy as it reduced the risk of developing a full-blown depressive disorder from 18% to 12%. In addition, this intervention had a 70% probability of being more cost-effective than usual care alone. A sensitivity analysis indicated the robustness of these results. Conclusions: Over I year adjunctive minimal contact psychotherapy improved outcomes and generated lower costs. This intervention is therefore superior to usual care alone in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberAPR.
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

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