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Review: psychotherapy reduces a variety of costs when used to treat patients with the most severe psychiatric disorders

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Objective

To determine the economic effects (including the costs of psychotherapy, admission to a psychiatric hospital, mortality, disability and impaired work performance, and other medical and laboratory costs) of providing psychotherapy for patients with psychiatric disorders.

Data sources

English language studies were identified by searching Medline (limited to peer reviewed papers, 1984–94) using the terms psychotherapy; cost effectiveness; cost offset; utilisation of medical care; inpatient admissions; efficacy of individual, group and family therapy; prevention of relapse; and psychology. The newer psychotherapy journals not included in Index Medicus were also searched.

Study selection

Studies were selected if there was an evaluation of a psychotherapeutic intervention (individual, group, or family therapy) in psychiatric illness, and if there were measures of outcomes that had some implications …

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