Cost-effectiveness of integrated collaborative care for comorbid major depression in patients with cancer

A. Duarte, J. Walker, S. Walker, G. Richardson, C. Holm Hansen, P. Martin, G. Murray, M. Sculpher, M. Sharpe

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Objectives: Comorbid major depression is associated with reduced quality of life and greater use of healthcare resources. A recent randomised trial (SMaRT, Symptom Management Research Trials, Oncology-2) found that a collaborative care treatment programme (Depression Care for People with Cancer, DCPC) was highly effective in treating depression in patients with cancer. This study aims to estimate the cost-effectiveness of DCPC compared with usual care from a health service perspective. Methods: Costs were estimated using UK national unit cost estimates and health outcomes measured using quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Incremental cost-effectiveness of DCPC compared with usual care was calculated and scenario analyses performed to test alternative assumptions on costs and missing data. Uncertainty was characterised using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. The probability of DCPC being cost-effective was determined using the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) cost-effectiveness threshold range of £20,000 to £30,000 per QALY gained. Results: DCPC cost on average £631 more than usual care per patient, and resulted in a mean gain of 0.066 QALYs, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £9549 per QALY. The probability of DCPC being cost-effective was 0.9 or greater at cost-effectiveness thresholds above £20,000 per QALY for the base case and scenario analyses. Conclusions: Compared with usual care, DCPC is likely to be cost-effective at the current thresholds used by NICE. This study adds to the weight of evidence that collaborative care treatment models are cost-effective for depression, and provides new evidence regarding their use in specialist medical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative care
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Depression

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