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J Psychiatr Res. 2015 May;64:114-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 25.

Long-term healthcare cost reduction with Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy in a tertiary psychiatric service.

Author information

1
Dalhousie University, 8203-5909 Veterans Memorial Lane, Halifax, NS, B3H 2E2, Canada. Electronic address: allan.abbass@dal.ca.
2
School of Medicine, Queensland, Australia.
3
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.
4
Centre for Emotions and Health, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.
5
Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether a mixed population of patients treated with Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) would exhibit reduced healthcare costs in long-term follow-up.

METHODS:

A quasi-experimental design was employed in which data on pre- and post-treatment healthcare cost were compared for all ISTDP cases treated in a tertiary care service over a nine year period. Observed cost changes were compared with those of a control group of patients referred but never treated. Physician and hospital costs were compared to treatment cost estimates and normal population cost figures.

RESULTS:

1082 patients were included; 890 treated cases for a broad range of somatic and psychiatric disorders and 192 controls. The treatment averaged 7.3 sessions and measures of symptoms and interpersonal problems significantly improved. The average cost reduction per treated case was $12,628 over 3 follow-up years: this compared favorably with the estimated treatment cost of $708 per patient. Significant differences were seen between groups for follow-up hospital costs.

CONCLUSIONS:

ISTDP in this setting appears to facilitate reductions in healthcare costs, supporting the notion that brief dynamic psychotherapy provided in a tertiary setting can be beneficial to health care systems overall. CLINICALTRIALS.

GOV IDENTIFIER NUMBER:

NCT01924715.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Cost-effectiveness; Depression; Personality disorder; Psychodynamic; Psychotherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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