Health–economic benefits of treating trauma in psychosis

P. de Bont, Berber M. Van Der Vleugel, David van den Berg, Carlijn De Roos, Joran Lokkerbol, Filip Smit, A. de Jongh, M. van der Gaag, Agnes van Minnen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Co-occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in psychosis (estimated as 12%) raises personal suffering and societal costs. Health–economic studies on PTSD treatments in patients with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder have not yet been conducted, but are needed for guideline development and implementation. This study aims to analyse the cost-effectiveness of guideline PTSD therapies in patients with a psychotic disorder.
Methods: This health–economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial included 155 patients with a psychotic disorder in care as usual (CAU), with comorbid PTSD. Participants received eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) (n = 55), prolonged exposure (PE) (n = 53) or waiting list (WL) (n = 47) with masked assessments at baseline (T0) and at the two-month (post-treatment, T2) and six-month follow-up (T6). Costs were calculated using the TiC-P interview for assessing healthcare consumption and productivity losses. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and economic acceptability were calculated for quality-adjusted life years (EQ-5D-3L-based QALYs) and PTSD ‘Loss of diagnosis’ (LoD, CAPS).
Results: Compared to WL, costs were lower in EMDR (-€1410) and PE (-€501) per patient per six months. In addition, EMDR (robust SE 0.024, t = 2.14, p = .035) and PE (robust SE 0.024, t = 2.14, p = .035) yielded a 0.052 and 0.051 incremental QALY gain, respectively, as well as 26% greater probability for LoD following EMDR (robust SE = 0.096, z = 2.66, p = .008) and 22% following PE (robust SE 0.098, z = 2.28, p = .023). Acceptability curves indicate high probabilities of PTSD treatments being the better economic choice. Sensitivity analyses corroborated these outcomes.
Conclusion: Adding PTSD treatment to CAU for individuals with psychosis and PTSD seem to yield better health and less PTSD at lower costs, which argues for implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1565032
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Spanish title: Beneficios en la economía de la salud del tratamiento del trauma en psicosis.
Chinese title: 治疗精神病症(psychosis)中的创伤的健康-经济收益分析.


  • KEA CUA Cost-effectiveness psychosis TTIP psychotic disorder QALY quality-adjusted life years PTSD EMDR prolonged exposure

VU Research Profile

  • Human Health and Life Sciences


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