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The cost-utility of brief therapy compared with cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and care as usual in the treatment of depression and anxiety has not yet been determined.
To assess the cost-utility of brief therapy compared with CBT and care as usual.
A pragmatic randomised controlled trial involving 702 patients was conducted at 7 Dutch mental healthcare centres (MHCs). Patients were interviewed at baseline and then every 3 months over a period of 1.5 years, during which time data were collected on direct costs, indirect costs and quality of life.
The mean direct costs of treatment at the MHCs were significantly lower for brief therapy than for CBT and care as usual. However, after factoring in other healthcare costs and indirect costs, no significant differences between the treatment groups could be detected. We found no significant differences in quality-adjusted life-years between the groups.
Cost-utility did not differ significantly between the three treatment groups.
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