Depression, use of medical services and cost-offset effects

Gregory E. Simon, David J Katzelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review considers evidence that depression is associated with increased use of general medical services and that more intensive treatment of depression might be expected to reduce medical expenditures. Cross-sectional studies strongly support an association between depression and medical utilization, but cannot establish a causal relationship. Available longitudinal studies lack the sample size and duration of follow-up necessary to examine how changes in depression influence utilization. Some quasi-experimental and experimental studies support a 'cost-offset' effect due to mental health treatment, but no experimental data directly address the specific impact of depression treatment on medical utilization. The available data identify the potential for large cost savings through improved treatment of depression but do not clearly establish that such savings can be realized. Definitive proof of a cost-offset due to depression treatment will require a new generation of experimental studies adapted to assess economic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Depression
Costs and Cost Analysis
Cost Savings
Health Expenditures
Sample Size
Longitudinal Studies
Mental Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Economics

Keywords

  • Cost
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Cost-offset
  • Depression
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Depression, use of medical services and cost-offset effects. / Simon, Gregory E.; Katzelnick, David J.

In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 42, No. 4, 04.1997, p. 333-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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