Background: This study aims to evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of add-on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for the prevention of psychosis for individuals at ultrahigh risk (UHR) of psychosis.
Method: The Dutch Early Detection and Intervention randomized controlled trial was used, comparing routine care (RC; n = 101) with routine care plus CBT for UHR (here called CBTuhr; n = 95). A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted with treatment response (defined as proportion of averted transitions to psychosis) as an outcome and a cost-utility analysis with quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained as a secondary outcome.
Results: The proportion of averted transitions to psychosis was significantly higher in the CBTuhr condition (with a risk difference of 0.122; b = 1.324, SEb = 0.017, z = 7.99, P < 0.001). CBTuhr showed an 83% probability of being more effective and less costly than RC by -US$ 5777 (savings) per participant. In addition, over the 4-year follow-up period, cumulative QALY health gains were marginally (but not significantly) higher in CBTuhr than for RC (2.63 vs. 2.46) and the CBTuhr intervention had a 75% probability of being the superior treatment (more QALY gains at lower costs) and a 92% probability of being cost-effective compared with RC at the Dutch threshold value (US$ 24 560; €20 000 per QALY).
Conclusions: Add-on preventive CBTuhr had a high likelihood (83%) of resulting in more averted transitions to psychosis and lower costs as compared with RC. In addition, the intervention had a high likelihood (75%) of resulting in more QALY gains and lower costs as compared to RC.