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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1997 Oct;65(5):789-802.

Behavioral couples therapy for male substance-abusing patients: a cost outcomes analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Brockton, Massachusetts, USA.


The cost outcomes for married or cohabiting substance-abusing male patients (N = 80) who were randomly assigned to receive either behavioral couples therapy (BCT) or individual-based treatment (IBT) were compared. Social costs incurred by patients in several areas (e.g., cost of substance abuse treatment, support from public assistance) during the year before and the year after treatment were estimated. BCT was more cost-beneficial than IBT; although the monetary outlays for delivering IBT and BCT were not different, the average reduction in aggregate social costs from baseline to follow-up was greater for patients who received BCT (i.e., $6,628) than for patients who received IBT (i.e., $1,904). BCT was also more cost-effective than IBT; for each $100 spent on the treatment, BCT produced greater improvements than IBT on several indicators of treatment outcome (e.g., fewer days of substance use, fewer legal problems).

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