Background: PTSD in youth may lead to long-lasting psychological implications, educational difficulties and increased healthcare costs. Psychological interventions have been shown to be effective in its management. The objective of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of a range of psychological interventions for children and young people with PTSD. Methods: A decision-analytic model was constructed to compare costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of 10 psychological interventions and no treatment for children and young people with PTSD, from the perspective of the National Health Service and personal social services in England. Effectiveness data were derived from a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Other model input parameters were based on published sources, supplemented by expert opinion. Results: Cognitive therapy for PTSD, a form of individual trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT), appeared to be the most cost-effective intervention for children and young people with PTSD (with a probability of.78 amongst the 11 evaluated options at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20,000/QALY), followed by narrative exposure (another form of individual TF-CBT), play therapy, and other forms of individual TF-CBT. After excluding cognitive therapy from the analysis, narrative exposure appeared to be the most cost-effective option with a.40 probability of being cost-effective amongst the remaining 10 options. EMDR, parent training and group TF-CBT occupied middle cost-effectiveness rankings. Family therapy and supportive counselling were less cost-effective than other active interventions. There was limited evidence for some interventions, in particular cognitive therapy for PTSD and parent training. Conclusions: Individual forms of TF-CBT and, to a lesser degree, play therapy appear to be cost-effective in the treatment of children and young people with PTSD. Family therapy and supportive counselling are unlikely to be cost-effective relative to other interventions. There is a need for well-conducted studies that examine the long-term clinical and cost-effectiveness of a range of psychological treatments for children and young people with PTSD.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- decision-analytic modelling
- economic evaluation