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Cost-benefit analysis of psychological therapy

By Richard Layard, David Clark, Martin Knapp and Guy Mayraz

Abstract

At present six million people are suffering from clinical depression or anxiety disorders, but only a quarter of them are in treatment. NICE Guidelines prescribe the offer of evidence-based psychological therapy, but they are not implemented, due to lack of therapists within the NHS. We therefore estimate the economic costs and benefits of providing psychological therapy to people not now in treatment. The cost to the governement would be fully covered by the savings in incapacity benefits and extra taxes that result from more people being able to worl. On our estimates, the cost could be recovered within two years – and certainly within five. And the benefits to the whole economy are greater still. This is not because we expect the extra theropy to be targeted especially at people with problems about work. It is because the cost of the therapy is so small (£750 in total), the recovery rates are so high (50 per cent) and the cost of a person on IB is so large (£750 per month). These findings strongly reinforce the humanitatian case for implementing the NICE Guidelines. Current proposals for doing this would require som8,000 extra psychological therapists withing the NHS over the six years

Topics: R Medicine (General), RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0027950107086171
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:3379
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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