Background: Telephone cognitive-behaviour therapy (TCBT) may be a cost-effective method for improving access to evidence-based treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in young people.
Aims: Economic evaluation of TCBT compared to face-to-face CBT for OCD in young people.
Method: Randomised non-inferiority trial comparing TCBT to face-to-face CBT for 72 young people (aged 11 to 18) with a diagnosis of OCD. Cost-effectiveness at 12-month follow-up was explored in terms of the primary clinical outcome (CY-BOCS) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).
Results: Total health and social care costs were higher for face-to-face CBT (mean total cost £2965, SD £1548) than TCBT (mean total cost £2475, SD £1024) but this difference was non-significant (p=0.118). There were no significant between-group differences in QALYs or the CY-BOCS and there was strong evidence to support the clinical non-inferiority of TCBT. Cost-effectiveness analysis suggests a 74% probability that face-to-face CBT is cost-effective compared to TCBT in terms of QALYs, but the result was less clear in terms of CY-BOCS, with TCBT being the preferred option at low levels of willingness to pay and the probability of either intervention being cost-effective at higher levels of willingness to pay being around 50%.
Conclusions: Although cost-effectiveness of TCBT was sensitive to the outcome measure used, TCBT should be considered a clinically non-inferior alternative when access to standard clinic-based CBT is limited, or when patient preference is expressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2019


  • cost-effectiveness
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • OCD/obsessive compulsive disorder


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