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Background: There is a growing interest in using group cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) with people who have Asperger syndrome (AS) and comorbid mental health problems. This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of modified group CBT for adults with AS experiencing co-occurring anxiety compared to treatment-as-usual. Methods: Economic evaluation alongside a pilot, multicenter, single-blind, randomized controlled crossover trial. Costs from the UK public sector (National Health Service and Social Services) and societal perspectives, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), incremental net (monetary) benefit (INB), expected value of perfect information, expected value of sample information, expected net gain of sampling, and efficient sample size of a future trial are reported. Results: Over 48 weeks, from the societal perspective, CBT results in additional costs of £6,647, with only a 0.015 incremental gain in QALYs, leading to a negative INB estimate of £6,206 and a 23% probability of cost-effectiveness at a threshold of £30,000/QALY. Results from sensitivity analyses support the unlikely cost-effectiveness of CBT but indicate the potential for cost-effectiveness over longer time horizons. Eliminating decision uncertainty is valued at £277 million, and the efficient sample size for a future trial is estimated at 1,200 participants per arm. Limitations: Relatively small sample size and prevalence of missing data present challenges to the interpretation of the results. Conclusions: Current evidence from this small pilot study suggests that, on average, modified group CBT is not cost-effective. However, there is much decision uncertainty so such a conclusion could be wrong. A large, full-scale trial to reduce uncertainty would be an efficient investment for the UK health economy.

Original publication





Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice

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