Health-economic evaluation of psychological interventions for depression prevention: Systematic review

Sonia Conejo-Cerón, Joran Lokkerbol, Patricia Moreno-Peral, Ben Wijnen, Anna Fernández, Juan M. Mendive, Filip Smit, Juan Ángel Bellón

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Psychological interventions have been proven to be effective to prevent depression, however, little is known on the cost-effectiveness of psychological interventions for the prevention of depression in various populations. A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Econlit, NHS Economic Evaluations Database, NHS Health Technology Assessment and OpenGrey up to January 2021. Only health-economic evaluations based on randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions to prevent depression were included. Independent evaluators selected studies, extracted data and assessed the quality using the Consensus on Health Economic Criteria and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Twelve trial-based economic evaluations including 5929 participants from six different countries met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the quality of most economic evaluations was considered good, but some studies have some risk of bias. Setting the willingness-to-pay upper limit to US$40,000 (2018 prices) for gaining one quality adjusted life year (QALY), eight psychological preventive interventions were likely to be cost-effective compared to care as usual. The likelihood of preventive psychological interventions being more cost-effective than care as usual looks promising, but more economic evaluations are needed to bridge the many gaps that remain in the evidence-base. Ethics: As this systematic review is based on published data, approval from the local ethics committee was not required.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102064
JournalClinical psychology review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Prevention
  • cost-effectiveness
  • depression
  • psychological interventions

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