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The population cost-effectiveness of a parenting intervention designed to prevent anxiety disorders in children
journal contributionposted on 01.09.2015, 00:00 authored by Cathy Mihalopoulos, T Vos, R M Rapee, J Pirkis, Mary Lou Chatterton, Yu-Chen Lee, Rob CarterRob Carter
BACKGROUND: Prevention and early intervention for anxiety disorders has lagged behind many other forms of mental disorder. Recent research has demonstrated the efficacy of a parent-focussed psycho-educational programme. The programme is directed at parents of inhibited preschool children and has been shown to reduce anxiety disorders at 1 and 3 years following intervention. The current study assesses the cost-effectiveness of this intervention to determine whether it could provide value-for-money across a population. METHOD: A cost-utility economic framework, using Disability-Adjusted-Life-Years (DALYs) as the outcome, was adopted. Economic modelling techniques were used to assess the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the intervention within the Australian population context, which was modelled as add-on to current practice. The perspective was the health sector. Uncertainty was measured using multivariate probabilistic testing and key assumptions were tested using univariate sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: The median ICER for the intervention was AUD$8,000 per DALY averted with 99.8% of the uncertainty iterations falling below the threshold value-for-money criterion of AUD$50,000 per DALY averted. The results were robust to sensitivity testing. CONCLUSIONS: Screening young children in a preschool setting for an inhibited temperament and providing a brief intervention to the parents of children with high levels of inhibition appears to provide very good value-for-money and worth considering in any package of preventive care. Further evaluation of this intervention under routine health service conditions will strengthen conclusions. Acceptability issues associated with this intervention, particularly to preschool staff and parents, need to be considered before wide-scale adoption is undertaken.