A review of economic evaluations of community mental health care

  • Roberts E
  • Cumming J
  • Nelson K
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The authors review the methodology & findings of economic evaluations of 42 community mental health care programs reported in the English-language literature between 1979 & 2003. There were three substantial methodological problems in the literature: costs were often not completely specified, the quality of econometric analysis was often low, & most evaluations failed to integrate cost & health outcome information. Well-conducted research shows that care in the community dominates hospital in-patient care, achieving better outcomes at lower or equal cost. It is less clear what types of community programs are most cost-effective. Future research should focus on identifying which types of community care are most cost effective & at what level of intensity they are most effective. 3 Tables, 127 References. [Copyright 2005 Sage Publications, Inc.]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Community mental health care
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Economic evaluation
  • Literature review

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  • Evan Roberts

  • Jacqueline Cumming

  • Katherine Nelson

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