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Perinatal mental health problems, defined as mental health problems occurring from the start of pregnancy to one year after birth, substantially affect women's and children's quality of life in low- and middle-income countries. In South Africa, despite high prevalence and documented negative impacts, most women do not receive any care.
A modelling study examined the costs of perinatal mental health problems, namely depression and anxiety, for a hypothetical cohort of women and their children in South Africa over part of their life course (10 years for women, 40 years for children). In sensitivity analysis, additional impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and completed suicide were included. Data sources were published findings from cohort studies, as well as epidemiological and economic data from South Africa. Data from international studies were considered where no data from South Africa were available.
Lifetime costs of perinatal depression and anxiety in South Africa amount to USD 2.8 billion per annual cohort of births. If the impacts of PTSD and suicide are included, costs increase to USD 2.9 billion. This includes costs linked to losses in quality of life (USD 1.8 billion), losses in income (USD 1.1 billion) and public sector costs (USD 3.5 million).
Whilst important progress has been made in South Africa with regards to mental health policies and interventions that include assessment and management of perinatal mental health problems, substantial underinvestment prevents progress. Findings from this study strengthen the economic case for investing in perinatal mental health care.
To examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of mirtazapine compared to placebo over 12-week follow-up.
Economic evaluation in a double-blind randomized controlled trial of mirtazapine vs. placebo.
Community settings and care homes in 26 UK centers.
People with probable or possible Alzheimer’s disease and agitation.
Primary outcome included incremental cost of participants’ health and social care per 6-point difference in CMAI score at 12 weeks. Secondary cost-utility analyses examined participants’ and unpaid carers’ gain in quality-adjusted life years (derived from EQ-5D-5L, DEMQOL-Proxy-U, and DEMQOL-U) from the health and social care and societal perspectives.
One hundred and two participants were allocated to each group; 81 mirtazapine and 90 placebo participants completed a 12-week assessment (87 and 95, respectively, completed a 6-week assessment). Mirtazapine and placebo groups did not differ on mean CMAI scores or health and social care costs over the study period, before or after adjustment for center and living arrangement (independent living/care home). On the primary outcome, neither mirtazapine nor placebo could be considered a cost-effective strategy with a high level of confidence. Groups did not differ in terms of participant self- or proxy-rated or carer self-rated quality of life scores, health and social care or societal costs, before or after adjustment.
On cost-effectiveness grounds, the use of mirtazapine cannot be recommended for agitated behaviors in people living with dementia. Effective and cost-effective medications for agitation in dementia remain to be identified in cases where non-pharmacological strategies for managing agitation have been unsuccessful.
We give an overview of the huge and increasing economic costs of dementia, both for the persons with dementia and for society as a whole. Public intervention is needed if we want to provide affordable and high-quality care to all persons with dementia. First, although an effective pharmaceutical cure for dementia would undoubtedly be a blockbuster drug for private companies, economic features of the production process of dementia medicines explain the relative underinvestment in private research. Second, there are no well-functioning private insurance markets for long-term care expenditures. Public intervention is needed to stimulate research, to finance care, to reduce inequalities in health and well-being, and address barriers to access to effective treatment and supportive care.
To evaluate psychological and psychosocial interventions or to decide whether it is cost-effective to reimburse specific therapies or medicines, one needs a measure of the quality of life of the persons with dementia. A large battery of specific dementia scales is available that can be used to evaluate psychological and psychosocial interventions, while cost-effectiveness is usually analysed with generic QALY-type health measures. The choice between these various measures cannot be made only on statistical or technical grounds because it has crucial ethical implications. Different measures of QoL reflect different fundamental perspectives on what makes a good life.
While debate on how best to pay for social care in England continues, information about public attitudes on this issue is limited. We asked representative samples of the public whether care costs for older people should be met by the state, met by the service user or shared between state and user. We used an online survey of people aged 18–75 (n = 3,000) and interview survey of people aged 65 and over (n = 466). Respondents were given four vignettes (two home care, two residential care) and asked who should pay at different levels of user resources; and how much users should contribute when costs were shared. Fewer than one-fifth of the online sample and one-quarter of the interview sample considered that the state should meet the full costs whatever users’ resources; considerably lower proportions believed that users should meet the full costs in all cases. Two-thirds of the online sample and half the interview sample thought costs should be shared. The proportion of costs that users should contribute was relatively low (20–50 per cent, varying by user resources). The study illustrates that public views elicited through vignettes can provide evidence to inform policy on social care funding.
Late-life depression has substantial impacts on individuals, families and society. Knowledge gaps remain in estimating the economic impacts associated with late-life depression by symptom severity, which has implications for resource prioritisation and research design (such as in modelling). This study examined the incremental health and social care expenditure of depressive symptoms by severity.
We analysed data collected from 2707 older adults aged 60 years and over in Hong Kong. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Client Service Receipt Inventory were used, respectively, to measure depressive symptoms and service utilisation as a basis for calculating care expenditure. Two-part models were used to estimate the incremental expenditure associated with symptom severity over 1 year.
The average PHQ-9 score was 6.3 (standard deviation, s.d. = 4.0). The percentages of respondents with mild, moderate and moderately severe symptoms and non-depressed were 51.8%, 13.5%, 3.7% and 31.0%, respectively. Overall, the moderately severe group generated the largest average incremental expenditure (US$5886; 95% CI 1126–10 647 or a 272% increase), followed by the mild group (US$3849; 95% CI 2520–5177 or a 176% increase) and the moderate group (US$1843; 95% CI 854–2831, or 85% increase). Non-psychiatric healthcare was the main cost component in a mild symptom group, after controlling for other chronic conditions and covariates. The average incremental association between PHQ-9 score and overall care expenditure peaked at PHQ-9 score of 4 (US$691; 95% CI 444–939), then gradually fell to negative between scores of 12 (US$ - 35; 95% CI - 530 to 460) and 19 (US$ -171; 95% CI - 417 to 76) and soared to positive and rebounded at the score of 23 (US$601; 95% CI -1652 to 2854).
The association between depressive symptoms and care expenditure is stronger among older adults with mild and moderately severe symptoms. Older adults with the same symptom severity have different care utilisation and expenditure patterns. Non-psychiatric healthcare is the major cost element. These findings inform ways to optimise policy efforts to improve the financial sustainability of health and long-term care systems, including the involvement of primary care physicians and other geriatric healthcare providers in preventing and treating depression among older adults and related budgeting and accounting issues across services.
Due to the nature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), health technology assessment (HTA) agencies might face considerable challenges in choosing appropriate outcomes and outcome measures for drugs that treat the condition. This study sought to understand which outcomes informed previous HTAs, to explore possible reasons for prioritizations, and derive potential implications for future assessments of AD drugs.
We conducted a literature review of studies that analyzed decisions made in HTAs (across disease areas) in three European countries: England, Germany, and The Netherlands. We then conducted case studies of technology assessments conducted for AD drugs in these countries.
Overall, outcomes measured using clinical scales dominated decisions or recommendations about whether to fund AD drugs, or price negotiations. HTA processes did not always allow the inclusion of outcomes relevant to people with AD, their carers, and families. Processes did not include early discussion and agreement on what would constitute appropriate outcome measures and cut-off points for effects.
We conclude that in order to ensure that future AD drugs are valued appropriately and timely, early agreement with various stakeholders about outcomes, outcome measures, and cut-offs is important.
This paper examines the costs and cost-effectiveness of psychosocial treatment for personality disorder in a controlled study. Using well-validated cost and outcome measures three groups are compared: the One-Stage group (n = 32) received 12 months of inpatient treatment; the Step-Down group (n = 29) received 6 months of inpatient treatment followed by 12 months of outpatient therapy; and the control group of 47 people used routinely available services. Both specialist programmes were more effective than routine psychiatric services but more costly. Using an extended dominance approach the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio showed that achieving one extra person with clinically relevant outcomes required an investment in the Step-Down programme of around £3400 over 18 months. Small sample sizes and non-random allocation to programmes are limitations of this study but the costs and effectiveness findings consistently point to advantages for the shorter residential programme followed by community-based psychotherapeutic support.
– This study estimated service and non-service costs in a random sample of patients attending a community psychiatric mental health centre in Italy.
– A randomly selected sample of patients identified during 1 week of routine clinical activity was enrolled. Information was collected using the Italian-language checklist Questionario Economico per l’attività clinica dei Servizi Psichiatrici (QESP). Costs were classified in two categories: service costs (from the provision of services) and non-service costs (loss of productivity and informal care).
– One hundred and twenty patients were included. Patients suffering from schizophrenia and related disorders (n = 50) had a mean age of 44.5 years (S.D. 12.9), and patients with other diagnoses (n = 70) had a mean age of 44.9 years (S.D. 14.8). More patients in the schizophrenia group were single, living alone, had a low educational level and a higher unemployment rate. In patients suffering from schizophrenia, the monthly service cost per patient was nearly double that for patients with other diagnoses. Non-service costs associated with patients’ lack of job opportunities were more than three times higher for patients with schizophrenia. Non-service costs associated with patients’ and care-givers’ time off work were similar in the two groups. In the multivariate analysis, being unemployed was associated with higher service costs. Younger age, length of illness and diagnosis of schizophrenia were determinants of higher non-service costs. The latter three independent variables were also associated with overall (service and non-service) costs.
– The present study estimated service and non-service costs under routine circumstances to provide information on costs that community psychiatric services, patients and care-givers sustain when dealing with psychiatric problems.
The START (STrAtegies for RelaTives) intervention reduced depressive and anxiety symptoms of family carers of relatives with dementia at home over 2 years and was cost-effective.
To assess the clinical effectiveness over 6 years and the impact on costs and care home admission.
We conducted a randomised, parallel group, superiority trial recruiting from 4 November 2009 to 8 June 2011 with 6-year follow-up (trial registration: ISCTRN 70017938). A total of 260 self-identified family carers of people with dementia were randomised 2:1 to START, an eight-session manual-based coping intervention delivered by supervised psychology graduates, or to treatment as usual (TAU). The primary outcome was affective symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, total score (HADS-T)). Secondary outcomes included patient and carer service costs and care home admission.
In total, 222 (85.4%) of 173 carers randomised to START and 87 to TAU were included in the 6-year clinical efficacy analysis. Over 72 months, compared with TAU, the intervention group had improved scores on HADS-T (adjusted mean difference −2.00 points, 95% CI −3.38 to −0.63). Patient-related costs (START versus TAU, respectively: median £5759 v. £16 964 in the final year; P = 0.07) and carer-related costs (median £377 v. £274 in the final year) were not significantly different between groups nor were group differences in time until care home (intensity ratio START:TAU was 0.88, 95% CI 0.58–1.35).
START is clinically effective and this effect lasts for 6 years without increasing costs. This is the first intervention with such a long-term clinical and possible economic benefit and has potential to make a difference to individual carers.
Declarations of interest
G.L., Z.W. and C.C. are supported by the UCLH National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre. G.L. and P.R. were in part supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) North Thames at Bart's Health NHS Trust. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. Z.W. reports during the conduct of the study; personal fees from GE Healthcare, grants from GE Healthcare, grants from Lundbeck, other from GE Healthcare, outside the submitted work.
There is evidence for the cost-effectiveness of health visitor (HV) training to assess postnatal depression (PND) and deliver psychological approaches to women at risk of depression. Whether this approach is cost-effective for lower-risk women is unknown. There is a need to know the cost of HV-delivered universal provision, and how much it might cost to improve health-related quality of life for postnatal women. A sub-study of a cluster-randomised controlled trial in the former Trent region (England) previously investigated the effectiveness of PoNDER HV training in mothers at lower risk of PND. We conducted a parallel cost-effectiveness analysis at 6-months postnatal for all mothers with lower-risk status attributed to an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score <12 at 6-weeks postnatal.
Intervention HVs were trained in assessment and cognitive behavioural or person-centred psychological support techniques to prevent depression. Outcomes examined: quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gains over the period between 6 weeks and 6 months derived from SF-6D (from SF-36); risk-of-depression at 6 months (dichotomising 6-month EPDS scores into lower risk (<12) and at-risk (⩾12).
In lower-risk women, 1474 intervention (63 clusters) and 767 control participants (37 clusters) had valid 6-week and 6-month EPDS scores. Costs and outcomes data were available for 1459 participants. 6-month adjusted costs were £82 lower in intervention than control groups, with 0.002 additional QALY gained. The probability of cost-effectiveness at £20 000 was very high (99%).
PoNDER HV training was highly cost-effective in preventing symptoms of PND in a population of lower-risk women and cost-reducing over 6 months.
Positive findings on early detection and early intervention services have been consistently reported from many different countries. The aim of this study, conducted within the European Brain Council project “The Value of Treatment”, was to estimate costs and the potential cost- savings associated with adopting these services within the context of the Czech mental health care reform.
Czech epidemiological data, probabilities derived from meta-analyses, and data on costs of mental health services in the Czech Republic were used to populate a decision analytical model. From the health care and societal perspectives, costs associated with health care services and productivity lost were taken into account. One-way sensitivity analyses were conducted to explore the uncertainty around the key parameters.
It was estimated that annual costs associated with care as usual for people with the first episode of psychosis were as high as 46 million Euro in the Czech Republic 2016. These annual costs could be reduced by 25% if ED services were adopted, 33% if EI services were adopted, and 40% if both, ED and EI services, were adopted in the country. Cost-savings would be generated due to decreased hospitalisations and better employment outcomes in people with psychoses.
Adopting early detection and early intervention services in mental health systems based on psychiatric hospitals and with limited access to acute and community care could generate considerable cost- savings. Although the results of this modelling study needs to be taken with caution, early detection and early intervention services are recommended for multi-centre pilot testing accompanied by full economic evaluation in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.
There is a lack of Health-Technology-Assessment (HTA) tools in pharmacy practice and the collection of real-world-evidence (RWE) in community pharmacy to populate longer-term-disease-progression-modelling (1). This project is looking at the development and application of a novel Patient-Reported-Outcome- Measure (PROM) in community pharmacy that can enable: the evaluation of the quality of care delivered from the patient perspective in terms of economic impact, patient health outcomes and ‘utilities’; the collection of RWE and evaluate long-term effect of care; to provide different stakeholders with unique evidence-based information that help formulate health policies in community pharmacy that are safe, effective, patient-focused and cost-effective, balancing access to innovation and cost containment.
Evidence from the Italian-Medicine-Use-Review (I-MUR) trial (2) showed that the I-MUR intervention provided by community pharmacists to asthma patients is effective, cost-saving and cost-effective (3). The trial allowed to model a framework (I-MUR-HTA) that would enable to routinely deliver the intervention, but also collect and analyse PROM data on its clinical-effectiveness, quality-of-life and cost-effectiveness. I-MUR-HTA was discussed within three expert-panel discussions including policy-makers, commissioners, academics, healthcare-professionals and patient-representatives in Italy, United Kingdom and Europe. Current plan include testing the use of the tool in the real world environment.
Evidence collected from the panel discussions confirmed that I-MUR-HTA evidence-based information is relevant to meet current National-Health-Care-System plans and this is what is needed to support the evaluation of innovative effective and cost-effective health policies and promote their implementation across nations. Current Italian law on pharmacy services provides the appropriate institutional framework to regulate the introduction of I-MUR-HTA across the territory. Its implementation is underway and a real-world pilot is planned to take place in Italy.
I-MUR-HTA appears to be an innovative tool to promote active patient involvement into policy-decision-making and pharmacy-service.
Reconciliation of unpaid care and employment is an increasingly important societal, economic and policy issue, both in the UK and internationally. Previous research shows the effectiveness of formal social care services in enabling carers to remain in employment. Using quantitative and qualitative data collected from carers and the person they care for in 2013 and 2015, during a period of cuts to adult social care in England, we explore barriers experienced to receipt of social care services. The main barriers to receipt of services identified in our study were availability, characteristics of services such as quality, and attitudes of carer and care-recipient to receiving services. These barriers have particular implications for carers' ability to reconcile care and employment.
Communication may be an influential determinant of inequality of access to, engagement with and benefit from psychiatric services.
To review the evidence on interventions designed to improve therapeutic communications between Black and minority ethnic patients and clinicians who provide care in psychiatric services.
Systematic review and evidence synthesis (PROSPERO registration: CRD42011001661). Data sources included the published and the ‘grey’ literature. A survey of experts and a consultation with patients and carers all contributed to the evidence synthesis, interpretation and recommendations.
Twenty-one studies were included in our analysis. The trials showed benefits mainly for depressive symptoms, experiences of care, knowledge, stigma, adherence to prescribed medication, insight and alliance. The effect sizes were smaller for better-quality trials (range of d 0.18–0.75) than for moderate- or lower-quality studies (range of d 0.18–4.3). The review found only two studies offering weak economic evidence.
Culturally adapted psychotherapies, and ethnographic and motivational assessment leading to psychotherapies were effective and favoured by patients and carers. Further trials are needed from outside of the UK and USA, as are economic evaluations and studies of routine psychiatric care practices.
Anxiety is common and problematic in dementia, yet there is a lack of
To develop a cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) manual for anxiety in
dementia and determine its feasibility through a randomised controlled
A ten-session CBT manual was developed. Participants with dementia and
anxiety (and their carers) were randomly allocated to CBT plus treatment
as usual (TAU) (n = 25) or TAU (n =
25). Outcome and cost measures were administered at baseline, 15 weeks
and 6 months.
At 15 weeks, there was an adjusted difference in anxiety (using the
Rating Anxiety in Dementia scale) of (–3.10, 95% CI −6.55 to 0.34) for
CBT compared with TAU, which just fell short of statistical significance.
There were significant improvements in depression at 15 weeks after
adjustment (–5.37, 95% CI −9.50 to −1.25). Improvements remained
significant at 6 months. CBT was cost neutral.
CBT was feasible (in terms of recruitment, acceptability and attrition)
and effective. A fully powered RCT is now required.