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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Feb;46(2):128-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.08.006. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

The cost-effectiveness of depression treatment for co-occurring disorders: a clinical trial.

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RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA. Electronic address:


The authors aimed to determine the economic value of providing on-site group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression to clients receiving residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Using a quasi-experimental design and an intention-to-treat analysis, the incremental cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratio of the intervention were estimated relative to usual care residential treatment. The average cost of a treatment episode was $908, compared to $180 for usual care. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio was $131 for each point improvement of the BDI-II and $49 for each additional depression-free day. The incremental cost-utility ratio ranged from $9,249 to $17,834 for each additional quality adjusted life year. Although the intervention costs substantially more than usual care, the cost effectiveness and cost-utility ratios compare favorably to other depression interventions. Health care reform should promote dissemination of group CBT to individuals with depression in residential SUD treatment.


Cognitive–Behavioral therapy; Cost-effectiveness; Depression

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