Changes in care costs associated with cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis delivered in routine clinical practice.
Sheaves B., Peters E., Stahl D., Johns L.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia spectrum disorders are long-term disabling conditions placing high economic demands on health services. AIM: To investigate whether cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp), delivered in a specialist psychological therapies service, was associated with a reduction in intensive care costs. METHODS: Days using inpatient care and out of hours crisis support were recorded (N = 69). Costs associated with high intensity care use in the 12 months pre-referral were compared to during, and 12 months following cessation of therapy. RESULTS: Despite the majority of participants incurring £0 at all time periods, costs of intensive mental health care more than halved with CBTp delivery, with a significant decrease during therapy, and at trend level after therapy (p = 0.07). Post hoc analysis revealed that offsetting the cost of therapy for those who utilised intensive care services at any time point (N = 18) resulted in therapy being cost neutral during therapy and cost effective (at trend level) 12 months following cessation of therapy. CONCLUSION: CBTp may reduce costs associated with intensive psychiatric care, even in a population where the minority use these services. Investment in therapy may lead to both clinical and financial benefits.