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Economic costs of mental illness 

Economic costs of mental illness
Economic costs of mental illness

Anita Patel

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date: 26 January 2022

The economic costs of mental illness are substantial and extend far beyond those related to mental health care. This chapter describes contributors to these costs and uses well-known cost-of-illness studies as illustrative examples. It discusses uses and limitations of such studies. It highlights the care needed when producing and interpreting such information and points to key literature on methodological practice and issues. It also explains why knowledge of costs is not helpful by itself. Difficult decisions about allocating scarce resources between alternative possibilities require consideration of broader consequences of alternative care options. It describes how considering both cost and outcome information together can more informatively provide estimates of relative value (i.e. efficiency). It outlines the economic evaluation frameworks commonly used for such purposes. It notes key areas within mental health care that have been evaluated using such approaches and potential challenges associated with producing such evidence.

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