Cost-effectiveness of transdiagnostic group cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders treatment as usual: economic evaluation of a pragmatic randomized controlled trial over an 8-month time horizon using self-reported data.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Psychol Med, p.1-13 (2023)


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>This economic evaluation supplements a pragmatic randomized controlled trial conducted in community care settings, which showed superior improvement in the symptoms of adults with anxiety disorders who received 12 sessions of transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioural group therapy in addition to treatment as usual (tCBT + TAU) compared to TAU alone.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>This study evaluates the cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of tCBT + TAU over an 8-month time horizon. For the reference case, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) obtained using the EQ-5D-5L, and the health system perspective were chosen. Alternatively, anxiety-free days (AFDs), derived from the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the limited societal perspective were considered. Unadjusted incremental cost-effectiveness/utility ratios were calculated. Net-benefit regressions were done for a willingness-to-pay (WTP) thresholds range to build cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEAC). Sensitivity analyses were included.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Compared to TAU ( = 114), tCBT + TAU ( = 117) generated additional QALYs, AFDs, and higher mental health care costs from the health system perspective. From the health system and the limited societal perspectives, at a WTP of Can$ 50 000/QALY, the CEACs showed that the probability of tCBT + TAU v. TAU being cost-effective was 97 and 89%. Promising cost-effectiveness results using AFDs are also presented. The participation of therapists from the public health sector could increase cost-effectiveness.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>From the limited societal and health system perspectives, this first economic evaluation of tCBT shows favourable cost-effectiveness results at a WTP threshold of Can$ 50 000/QALY. Future research is needed to replicate findings in longer follow-up studies and different health system contexts to better inform decision-makers for a full-scale implementation.</p>

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