Cost-effectiveness of internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for irritable bowel syndrome: results from a randomized controlled trial
1 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Stockholm Center for Psychiatry Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Health Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands
3 Centre of Prevention and Early Intervention, Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), Utrecht, Netherlands
4 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Sweden
BMC Public Health 2011, 11:215 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-215Published: 7 April 2011
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is highly prevalent and is associated with a substantial economic burden. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating IBS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a new treatment alternative, internet-delivered CBT based on exposure and mindfulness exercises.
Participants (N = 85) with IBS were recruited through self-referral and were assessed via a telephone interview and self-report measures on the internet. Participants were randomized to internet-delivered CBT or to a discussion forum. Economic data was assessed at pre-, post- and at 3-month and 1 year follow-up.
Significant cost reductions were found for the treatment group at $16,806 per successfully treated case. The cost reductions were mainly driven by reduced work loss in the treatment group. Results were sustained at 3-month and 1 year follow-up.
Internet-delivered CBT appears to generate health gains in IBS treatment and is associated with cost-savings from a societal perspective.