Cost-effectiveness of computer-assisted training in cognitive-behavioral therapy as an adjunct to standard care for addiction

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Aug 1;110(3):200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.02.022. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


Aim: To determine the cost-effectiveness, from clinic and patient perspectives, of a computer-based version of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT4CBT) as an addition to regular clinical practice for substance dependence. PARTICIPANTS, DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: This cost-effectiveness study is based on a randomized clinical trial in which 77 individuals seeking treatment for substance dependence at an outpatient community setting were randomly assigned to treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU plus biweekly access to computer-based training in CBT (TAU plus CBT4CBT). The primary patient outcome measure was the total number of drug-free specimens provided during treatment. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs) were used to determine the cost-effectiveness of TAU plus CBT4CBT relative to TAU alone. Results are presented from both the clinic and patient perspectives and are shown to be robust to (i) sensitivity analyses and (ii) a secondary objective patient outcome measure.

Findings: The per patient cost of adding CBT4CBT to standard care was $39 ($27) from the clinic (patient) perspective. From the clinic (patient) perspective, TAU plus CBT4CBT is likely to be cost-effective when the threshold value to decision makers of an additional drug-free specimen is greater than approximately $21 ($15), and TAU alone is likely to be cost-effective when the threshold value is less than approximately $21 ($15). The ICERs for TAU plus CBT4CBT also compare favorably to ICERs reported elsewhere for other empirically validated therapies, including contingency management.

Conclusions: TAU plus CBT4CBT appears to be a good value from both the clinic and patient perspectives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Temperance
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / economics*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome