Are Web-Based Depression Interventions Cost-Effective?

Peter M. Yellowlees, MBBS, MD


February 28, 2019

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

This is the Medscape Psychiatry Minute. I'm Dr Peter Yellowlees.

Web-based interventions are increasingly being shown to be clinically effective in reducing depression, but are they cost-effective?

Now, a team of investigators from the University of Vechta, Germany, have assessed the cost-effectiveness of a Web-based intervention (GET.ON M.E.D.) for individuals with diabetes and comorbid depression, compared with an active control group receiving Web-based psychoeducation.[1]

The researchers used treatment response and quality-adjusted life-years as the outcomes in a randomized controlled trial with 260 participants. They found a high probability that this Web-based intervention for individuals with diabetes and comorbid depression was cost-effective compared with the active control group.

Why is this important to clinicians? This study is yet more evidence to support the use of Web-based therapy programs as an adjunct to our usual clinical care, delineating another group of patients—depressed diabetics—where such programs are cost-effective.

As psychiatrists, our practices are changing as more clinically useful patient care tools emerge. Such programs are giving us tremendous opportunities to practice better and more patient-centered care. I encourage all colleagues to explore these innovative technologies with your patients.

Thank you for listening to this Medscape Psychiatry Minute. Do continue to enjoy your practice.

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