Cost-outcome of anxiety treatment intervention in primary care in Hungary

János Zámbori, Erika Szádóczky, S. Rózsa, János Füredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim of the Study: The purpose of this paper is to estimate the changes in health utilization and indirect costs of anxiety and affective disorders in primary care patients after initiation of mental health treatment. Method: This study was conducted in 12 general practices for the primary care of adult populations in Budapest, Hungary. Among 2,000 eligible patients aged 18 to 64 years, 1,815 gave written informed consent to participate in the study. The Hungarian version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) for anxiety and mood disorders was used to generate psychiatric diagnoses. For all patients, health care utilization data for the previous 12 months was collected including number of visits, specialist consultations, days spent in hospital, sick days in the last year and prescribed medication. Among the first 1,000 attenders, 151 patients were given DIS/DSM-III-R diagnoses of current anxiety and/or mood disorder or uncomplicated bereavement. Fifty-one patients who agreed to psychiatric treatment were assigned to the treatment group. After the first 1,000 participants, 75 patients were given DIS diagnoses and were considered as controls. In the treatment group, five psychiatrists administered treatment on an outpatient basis for one year. Patients in the control group received "as-usual treatment" from their primary care physicians. After one year, health care utilization data for the study period was collected. For the purposes of this study, the direct costs considered were limited to health care expenses and the indirect costs were limited to lost workdays. Statistical significance was calculated using a paired-samples T-test procedure comparing the means of two variables for a simple group. Results: In the treatment group, the total cost of prescription drugs increased sharply due to psychiatric drug treatment, thus increasing the direct overall costs of care. In this same group the cost of non-psychiatric drugs showed a 37% decrease, suggesting that a reduction in general medical treatment partially offset the costs of anxiety and depression treatment. The number of hospital days showed marked decrease in the treatment group and a slight, insignificant increase in the control group. Absenteeism fell sharply in the treatment group (-56%) and in the group of patients who received psychiatric treatment elsewhere (-62%). In the control group, there was a large upturn (+182%) in the number of days spent on sick leave. Discussion: Among primary care patients diagnosed with anxiety or affective disorders, psychiatric treatment led to higher direct costs, but this was offset by a decline in indirect costs due to reduced absenteeism compared with ordinary primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

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Hungary
Primary Health Care
Anxiety
Costs and Cost Analysis
Psychiatry
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
Therapeutics
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Absenteeism
Appointments and Schedules
Sick Leave
Interviews
Control Groups
Bereavement
Prescription Drugs
Primary Care Physicians
Informed Consent
Mental Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Cost-outcome of anxiety treatment intervention in primary care in Hungary. / Zámbori, János; Szádóczky, Erika; Rózsa, S.; Füredi, János.

In: Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, Vol. 5, No. 3, 09.2002, p. 115-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zámbori, János ; Szádóczky, Erika ; Rózsa, S. ; Füredi, János. / Cost-outcome of anxiety treatment intervention in primary care in Hungary. In: Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. 2002 ; Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 115-120.
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