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Clinical Trial
. 2010 Jan;26(1):3-10.
doi: 10.1017/S0266462309990791.

A Cost-Utility Analysis of Psychoanalysis Versus Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

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Clinical Trial

A Cost-Utility Analysis of Psychoanalysis Versus Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Caspar C Berghout et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. .

Abstract

Objectives: Despite the considerable and growing body of research about the clinical effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic treatment, relatively little attention has been paid to economic evaluations, particularly with reference to the broader range of societal effects. In this cost-utility study, we examined the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of psychoanalysis versus psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Methods: Incremental costs and effects were estimated by means of cross-sectional measurements in a cohort design (psychoanalysis, n = 78; psychoanalytic psychotherapy, n = 104). Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were estimated for each treatment strategy using the SF-6D. Total costs were calculated from a societal perspective (treatment costs plus other societal costs) and discounted at 4 percent. Psychoanalysis was more costly than psychoanalytic psychotherapy, but also more effective from a health-related quality of life perspective. The ICER--that is, the extra costs to gain one additional QALY by delivering psychoanalysis instead of psychoanalytic psychotherapy--was estimated at 52,384 euros per QALY gained.

Conclusions: Our findings show that the cost-utility ratio of psychoanalysis relative to psychoanalytic psychotherapy is within an acceptable range. More research is needed to find out whether cost-utility ratios vary with different types of patients. We also encourage cost-utility analyses comparing psychoanalytic treatment to other forms of (long-term) treatment.

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