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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Heather Huang, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a comprehensive review of the literature examining the cost-effectiveness of psychotherapy.
Purpose: By examining the aspects of psychotherapeutic interventions for major psychiatric diagnoses, the book aims to investigate their cost-effectiveness.
Audience: It is intended for psychotherapists, providers of psychiatric care, policy makers, and anyone else interested in the costs of providing psychotherapeutic treatments.
Features: A brief overview of the impact and prevalence of mental illness in society begins the book, with a discussion of the complexity of cost, providing a framework for understanding the multiple dimensions of cost and cost-effectiveness. Subsequent chapters summarize the literature as it pertains to the evaluation of cost-effectiveness of psychotherapy in various psychiatric diagnoses, including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorders, PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Separate chapters address psychotherapy in patients with medical conditions, children, and adolescents, as well as the place of long-term and intensive psychotherapy. Several chapters use tables to summarize the important references.
Assessment: In an era of medicine dominated by cost considerations, emphasis on biologic treatments, and evidence-based medicine, psychotherapy has lost some centrality as a therapeutic treatment modality. This book comprehensively examines research literature that addresses cost-effectiveness of various psychotherapeutic modalities for a number of the most important psychiatric conditions. It touches upon the multiple ways that psychotherapy is used (supportive, educational, insight-oriented, behavioral, cognitive restructuring) for various illnesses. Through summarizing research literature of sound methodology, it overwhelmingly demonstrates the multiple ways that psychotherapy reduces healthcare costs (overall medical utilization, frequency of hospitalization, duration of hospital stay, and work days lost). Reviewing mostly positive studies, this book does not provide an in-depth summary of the negative or equivocal literature, although it does address equivocal studies in general.