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J Ment Health. 2013 Apr;22(2):111-21. doi: 10.3109/09638237.2012.759193.

Mental health economics: insights from Brazil.

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  • 1Health Technology Assessment Institute IATS, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.



As the responsibility and demand on health care grows and resources do not increase at the same pace, the healthcare system has been forced to reconsider the benefits and costs of their actions, to ensure a rational and effective decision-making process regarding the adoption of interventions and allocation of resources. Cost-effectiveness (CE) studies represent one of the basic tools to achieve this goal.


To present the current state of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health economics in mental health in Brazil and its importance to the decision-making process.


Descriptive paper on HTA and health economics in Brazil. Databases from government and universities as well as some scientific databases to assess the information are presented.


Economic analysis to evaluate interventions in mental health care is a relatively recent addition to the field of health economics; in Brazil, it is also considered a topic within Epidemiology research area. There have been an increased number of studies developed in high-income countries. However, there are fewer CE studies in low- and middle-income ones. Psychiatric disorders represent a significant burden in developing countries, where resources devoted to health care are even scarcer.

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