Cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of internet-based treatment for adults with depressive symptoms: randomized trial

E.H. Warmerdam, H.F.E. Smit, A. van Straten, P. Cuijpers, H. Riper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The effectiveness of Internet-based treatments for depression has been demonstrated; their cost-effectiveness, however, has been less well researched.
Objective: Evaluating the relative cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of (1) Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, (2) Internet-based problem-solving therapy, and (3) a waiting list for adults with depressive symptoms.
Methods: A total of 263 participants with clinically significant depressive symptoms were randomized to Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (n = 88), Internet-based problem-solving therapy (n = 88), and a waiting list (n = 87). End points were evaluated at the 12-week follow-up.
Results: Cost-utility analysis showed that cognitive behavioral therapy and problem-solving therapy had a 52% and 61% probability respectively of being more acceptable than waiting when the willingness to pay is € 30,000 for one quality-adjusted life-year. When society is prepared to pay € 10,000 for a clinically significant change from depression, the probabilities of cognitive behavioral therapy and problem-solving therapy being more acceptable than waiting are 91% and 89%, respectively. Comparing both Internet-based treatments showed no clear preference for one or the other of the treatments.
Conclusions: Both Internet-based treatments have a high probability of being cost-effective with a modest value placed on clinically significant change in depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e53
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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