Cost-effectiveness of online positive psychology: Randomized controlled trial

L. Bolier, C. Majo, H.F.E. Smit, G.J. Westerhof, M. Haverman, J.A. Walburg, H. Riper, E. Bohlmeijer

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25 Citations (Scopus)


As yet, no evidence is available about the cost-effectiveness of positive psychological interventions. When offered via the Internet, these interventions may be particularly cost-effective, because they are highly scalable and do not rely on scant resources such as therapists' time. Alongside a randomized controlled trial of an online positive psychological intervention, a health-economic evaluation was conducted. Mild to moderately depressed adults seeking self-help and recruited in the general population were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 143) and a waitlisted usual care group (n = 141). Improved clinical outcomes were achieved in the intervention group (at least for depression) at higher costs. When outliers (the top 2.5%, n = 5 in intervention group, n = 2 in control group) were removed, cost-effectiveness was increased considerably. For positive psychology, economic evaluations may be a means to nudge policy decision-makers towards placing positive psychological interventions on the health agenda. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-471
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to Furthering Research and Promoting Good Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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