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Comparative Study
. 2010 Jul;16(4):209-16.
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000386907.99536.75.

The Effects of Long-Term Psychoanalytic Treatment on Healthcare Utilization and Work Impairment and Their Associated Costs

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Comparative Study

The Effects of Long-Term Psychoanalytic Treatment on Healthcare Utilization and Work Impairment and Their Associated Costs

Caspar C Berghout et al. J Psychiatr Pract. .

Abstract

Long-term psychoanalytic treatment is perceived as an expensive ambulatory treatment for mental illnesses. However, there are indications that psychoanalytic treatment can result in cost savings in the long term. In this study, we investigated the effects of long-term psychoanalytic treatment on healthcare utilization and work impairment and calculated the associated societal costs. We assessed healthcare utilization and work impairment of patients before, during, and after long-term psychoanalytic treatment (N=231). Our results show that the difference in total costs associated with healthcare utilization and work impairment between pre- and post-treatment was euro2444 (U.S.$3070 using average exchange rates for 2006, the year for which these data were calculated) per person per year. Two years after treatment termination, these cost savings had increased to euro3632 ($4563) per person per year. This indicates that we can expect decreased consumption of medical care and higher work productivity right after psychoanalytic treatment, but also that longterm psychoanalytic treatment can generate economical benefits in the long run. However, we cannot conclude that all invested costs will be earned back eventually. More research is needed on the cost-effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment.

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