Cost-utility of treatment of bulimia nervosa

Int J Eat Disord. 2010 Nov 1;43(7):596-602. doi: 10.1002/eat.20754.


Objective: The costs of treating eating disorders are high. Our objective was to perform a cost-utility analysis of treatment of bulimia nervosa.

Method: 72 patients entering treatment of bulimia nervosa (ICD-10 diagnosis) completed the 15D health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaire and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) before and 6 months after the start of treatment. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained were calculated and cost-utility was assessed within the time horizon of 10 years.

Results: Baseline HRQoL was severely impaired in the patients. As a consequence of treatment, mean HRQoL improved clinically and statistically significantly. The cost per QALY gained varied from €1,455 to €16,481 (from €4,428 to €19,663 discounted at 5%) depending on the assumptions used in the analysis.

Discussion: HRQoL of bulimia nervosa patients is severely impaired, but treatment has a clear positive effect on HRQoL. The cost per QALY gained is comparable to many other treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / economics
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / economics*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy / economics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents