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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;48(7):711-20. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e3181a2b319.

Relative cost-effectiveness of treatments for adolescent depression: 36-week results from the TADS randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411, USA. domino@unc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The cost-effectiveness of three active interventions for major depression in adolescents was compared after 36 weeks of treatment in the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study.

METHOD:

Outpatients aged 12 to 18 years with a primary diagnosis of major depression participated in a randomized controlled trial conducted at 13 U.S. academic and community clinics from 2000 to 2004. Three hundred twenty-seven participants randomized to 1 of 3 active treatment arms, fluoxetine alone (n = 109), cognitive-behavioral therapy (n = 111) alone, or their combination (n = 107), were evaluated for a 3-month acute treatment and a 6-month continuation/maintenance treatment period. Costs of services received for the 36 weeks were estimated and examined in relation to the number of depression-free days and quality-adjusted life-years. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were also generated. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess treatment differences on the quality-adjusted life-years and cost-effectiveness measures.

RESULTS:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy was the most costly treatment component (mean $1,787 [in monotherapy] and $1,833 [in combination therapy], median $1,923 [for both]). Reflecting higher direct and indirect costs associated with psychiatric hospital use, the costs of services received outside Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study in fluoxetine-treated patients (mean $5,382, median $2,341) were significantly higher than those in participants treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (mean $3,102, median $1,373) or combination (mean $2,705, median $927). Accordingly, cost-effectiveness acceptability curves indicate that combination treatment is highly likely (>90%) to be more cost-effective than fluoxetine alone at 36 weeks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not likely to be more cost-effective than fluoxetine.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings support the use of combination treatment in adolescents with depression over monotherapy.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00006286.

PMID:
19465880
DOI:
10.1097/CHI.0b013e3181a2b319
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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