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This review aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of psychological interventions for schizophrenia/bipolar disorder (BD), to determine the robustness of current evidence and identify gaps in the available evidence.
Electronic searches (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Embase) identified economic evaluations relating incremental cost to outcomes in the form of an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio published in English since 2000. Searches were concluded in November 2018. Inclusion criteria were: adults with schizophrenia/BD; any psychological/psychosocial intervention (e.g., psychological therapy and integrated/collaborative care); probability of cost-effectiveness at explicitly defined thresholds reported. Comparators could be routine practice, no intervention, or alternative psychological therapies. Screening, data extraction, and critical appraisal were performed using pre-specified criteria and forms. Results were summarized qualitatively. The protocol was registered on the PROSPERO database (CRD42017056579).
Of 3,864 studies identified, 12 met the criteria for data extraction. All were integrated clinical and economic randomized controlled trials. The most common intervention was cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT, 6/12 studies). The most common measure of health benefit was the quality-adjusted life-year (6/12). Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 5 years. Interventions were found to be cost-effective in most studies (9/12): the probability of cost-effectiveness ranged from 35-99.5 percent. All studies had limitations and demonstrated uncertainty (particularly related to incremental costs).
Most studies concluded psychological interventions for schizophrenia/BD are cost-effective, including CBT, although there was notable uncertainty. Heterogeneity across studies makes it difficult to reach strong conclusions. There is a particular need for more evidence in the population with BD and for longer-term evidence across both populations.
While medicines and medical tests are developed in a controlled clinical trial environment, postmarketing surveillance in the real world can be challenging. MedicineInsight—a database of longitudinal patient-level clinical information from primary care practices in Australia—is a novel program that collects primary care data to improve postmarketing surveillance at a national level.
MedicineInsight collects de-identified clinical information from primary care practice information systems using data extraction tools. MedicineInsight currently includes 3.6 million regular patients of 3,300 family physicians (general practitioners) from 650 primary care practices across Australia. MedicineInsight data include longitudinal clinical information on diagnosis and medicines (dose, strength, route of administration, medication switches over time, adverse events, and allergies), and pathology testing data. A series of observational studies was developed for postmarketing surveillance of management of a range of health priorities including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression, and antibiotics use.
Forty-four percent of patients with T2DM in the MedicineInsight database did not have a recorded hemoglobin A1c result and thirty-one percent did not have a recorded blood pressure reading in the previous 6 months. While guidelines recommend a stepwise approach to the initiation of COPD therapy, forty-nine percent of patients with COPD (with or without asthma) were prescribed dual therapy at initiation and a small number (4.5 percent) were prescribed triple therapy. Between 2011 and 2015, the annual rate of antidepressant prescribing per 1,000 family physician encounters increased by eight percent. High volumes of antibiotics were prescribed for respiratory tract infections in Australian primary care, notwithstanding guideline recommendations that antibiotics are not recommended in most cases.
Large scale, real-world clinical data from primary care practices can play an important role in postmarketing surveillance at a national level.
It is uncertain whether antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) medication in schizophrenia is associated with better clinical outcomes than oral preparations.
To examine the impact of prior treatment delivery route on treatment outcomes and whether any differences are moderated by adherence.
Analysis of data from two pragmatic 1-year clinical trials in which patients with schizophrenia were randomised to either an oral first-generation antipsychotic (FGA), or a non-clozapine second-generation antipsychotic (SGA, CUtLASS 1 study), or a non-clozapine SGA or clozapine (CUtLASS 2 study).
Across both trials, 43% (n = 155) of participants were prescribed an FGA-LAI before randomisation. At 1-year follow-up they showed less improvement in quality of life, symptoms and global functioning than those randomised from oral medication. This difference was confined to patients rated as less than consistently adherent pre-randomisation. The relatively poor improvement in the patients prescribed an LAI pre-randomisation was ameliorated if they had been randomised to clozapine rather than another SGA. There was no advantage to being randomly assigned from an LAI at baseline to a non-clozapine oral SGA rather than an oral FGA.
A switch at randomisation from an LAI to an oral antipsychotic was associated with poorer clinical and functional outcomes at 1-year follow-up compared with switching from one oral antipsychotic to another. This effect appears to be moderated by adherence, and may not extend to switching to clozapine. This has implications for clinical trial design: the drug from which a participant is randomised may have a greater effect than the drug to which they are randomised.