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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 1/2018

Cost-effectiveness of dialectical behaviour therapy vs. enhanced usual care in the treatment of adolescents with self-harm

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Egil Haga, Eline Aas, Berit Grøholt, Anita J. Tørmoen, Lars Mehlum



Studies have shown that dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is effective in reducing self-harm in adults and adolescents.


To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DBT for adolescents (DBT-A) compared to enhanced usual care (EUC).


In a randomised study, 77 adolescents with repeated self-harm were allocated to 19 weeks of outpatient treatment, either DBT-A (n = 39) or EUC (n = 38). Cost-effective analyses, including estimation of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, were conducted with self-harm and global functioning (CGAS) as health outcomes.


Using self-harm as effect outcome measure, the probability of DBT being cost-effective compared to EUC increased with increasing willingness to pay up to a ceiling of 99.5% (threshold of € 1400), while with CGAS as effect outcome measure, this ceiling was 94.9% (threshold of € 1600).


Given the data, DBT-A had a high probability of being a cost-effective treatment.
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