A health economic outcome evaluation of an internet-based mobile-supported stress management intervention for employees

Scand J Work Environ Health. 2018 Mar 1;44(2):171-182. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3691. Epub 2017 Nov 16.


Objective This study aimed to estimate and evaluate the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of a guided internet- and mobile-supported occupational stress-management intervention (iSMI) for employees from the employer's perspective alongside a randomized controlled trial. Methods A sample of 264 employees with elevated symptoms of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS-10 ≥22) was randomly assigned either to the iSMI or a waitlist control (WLC) group with unrestricted access to treatment as usual. The iSMI consisted of seven sessions of problem-solving and emotion-regulation techniques and one booster session. Self-report data on symptoms of perceived stress and economic data were assessed at baseline, and at six months following randomization. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) with symptom-free status as the main outcome from the employer's perspective was carried out. Statistical uncertainty was estimated using bootstrapping (N=5000). Results The CBA yielded a net-benefit of EUR181 [95% confidence interval (CI) -6043-1042] per participant within the first six months following randomization. CEA showed that at a willingness-to-pay ceiling of EUR0, EUR1000, EUR2000 for one additional symptom free employee yielded a 67%, 90%, and 98% probability, respectively, of the intervention being cost-effective compared to the WLC. Conclusion The iSMI was cost-effective when compared to WLC and even lead to cost savings within the first six months after randomization. Offering stress-management interventions can present good value for money in occupational healthcare.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Counseling / economics
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Health Services / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Psychological / economics
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*

Associated data

  • DRKS/DRKS00004749