: While multiple treatments for pediatric anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are efficacious, little is known about their cost-effectiveness. In response, we sought to provide relevant information through systematic review and cost-effectiveness simulation.
: We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of treatment for pediatric anxiety and OCD in two ways. First, we conducted a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines. Second, we evaluated cost-effectiveness for antidepressant medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and their combination via a simulation that integrated information from the Truven MarketScan database and the NIMH National Database for Clinical Trials Related to Mental Illness.
: Both systematic review and simulation found antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy to be cost-effective for pediatric anxiety and OCD. Antidepressant medication was the least costly approach, and cognitive behavioral therapy provided additional cost-effectiveness, especially for OCD. Limitation(s): During systematic review, relatively few articles provided information about both costs and effectiveness. While there was a notable margin of error to support multiple interventions as cost-effective, limited prior research decreased precision of point estimates and comparisons between interventions.
: Both antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy were found to be cost-effective for pediatric anxiety and OCD. Results supported investment from third party payers, who serve as critical gatekeepers that can increase treatment dissemination. However, more precise information would better inform the exact amount of investment needed, especially with regard to selection decisions between active interventions. Cost-effectiveness research would benefit from systematic collection of data on treatment costs and quality of life in future clinical trials. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
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