The Societal Cost of Schizophrenia: An Updated Systematic Review of Cost-of-Illness Studies

Claire Lin, Xiaoyu Zhang, Huajie Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia imposes a substantial economic burden on society. This updated systematic review aims to collate the latest societal cost of schizophrenia across countries by reviewing recent cost-of-illness (COI) studies.

An electronic search was conducted across several databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Health Management Information Consortium, and System for Information on Grey Literature) to identify COI studies published from 2016 to 2022. Two independent reviewers selected studies for inclusion. The cost components and estimates reported by included studies were descriptively summarised. All costs were converted to US dollars (2022 values). Study quality was assessed using a checklist adapted from Larg & Moss.

Twenty-four studies were included (5 from the update review and 19 from the original review), of which only two were conducted for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Widespread methodological heterogeneity among included studies was observed. The annual societal cost per person varied from US$819 in Nigeria to US$94,587 in Norway. Productivity losses accounted for 32–83% of the overall societal cost, whilst direct healthcare cost made up 11–87%. The reporting quality of included studies varied.

This review highlights the substantial economic burden of schizophrenia and a lack of COI studies for LMICs. Recommendations on future research, and good practices on improving the methodological and reporting quality of COI research for schizophrenia are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Schizophrenia
  • Societal Cost
  • Cost-of-Illness
  • Systematic Review
  • Healthcare cost


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