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The cost of mental disorders: a systematic review

  • M. K. Christensen (a1) (a2), C. C. W. Lim (a3) (a4), S. Saha (a4), O. Plana-Ripoll (a1), D. Cannon (a4), F. Presley (a4), N. Weye (a1), N. C. Momen (a1), H. A. Whiteford (a4) (a5), K. M. Iburg (a2) and J. J. McGrath (a1) (a3) (a4)...

Abstract

Aims

To identify and synthesise the literature on the cost of mental disorders.

Methods

Systematic literature searches were conducted in the databases PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, EconLit, NHS York Database and PsychInfo using key terms for cost and mental disorders. Searches were restricted to January 1980–May 2019. The inclusion criteria were: (1) cost-of-illness studies or cost-analyses; (2) diagnosis of at least one mental disorder; (3) study population based on the general population; (4) outcome in monetary units. The systematic review was preregistered on PROSPERO (ID: CRD42019127783).

Results

In total, 13 579 potential titles and abstracts were screened and 439 full-text articles were evaluated by two independent reviewers. Of these, 112 articles were included from the systematic searches and 31 additional articles from snowball searching, resulting in 143 included articles. Data were available from 48 countries and categorised according to nine mental disorder groups. The quality of the studies varied widely and there was a lack of studies from low- and middle-income countries and for certain types of mental disorders (e.g. intellectual disabilities and eating disorders). Our study showed that certain groups of mental disorders are more costly than others and that these rankings are relatively stable between countries. An interactive data visualisation site can be found here: https://nbepi.com/econ.

Conclusions

This is the first study to provide a comprehensive overview of the cost of mental disorders worldwide.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: John McGrath, E-mail: j.mcgrath@uq.edu.au

References

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The cost of mental disorders: a systematic review

  • M. K. Christensen (a1) (a2), C. C. W. Lim (a3) (a4), S. Saha (a4), O. Plana-Ripoll (a1), D. Cannon (a4), F. Presley (a4), N. Weye (a1), N. C. Momen (a1), H. A. Whiteford (a4) (a5), K. M. Iburg (a2) and J. J. McGrath (a1) (a3) (a4)...

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