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QUESTION: Is counselling people with mental health problems more cost-effective than usual care? Can meta-analysis of cost data from primary studies increase the reliability of economic analyses?
Meta-analysis of individual patient data.
Studies were identified from a Cochrane systematic review.
Eligible studies compared counselling in primary care versus usual general practitioner care in people with mental health problems. Studies with insufficient detail on healthcare utilisation, or inadequate randomisation methods were excluded.
Data on type of counselling, trial inclusion criteria, length of follow up, primary clinical outcomes, health service use and sample size were extracted. Standardised national unit costs in pounds sterling for the 1999–2000 financial year were applied. …
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