Economic evaluations of non-pharmacological interventions and cost-of-illness studies in bipolar disorder: A systematic review

Jannis T. Kraiss*, Ben Wijnen, Ralph W. Kupka, Ernst T. Bohlmeijer, Joran Lokkerbol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with substantial societal burden. Therefore, economic studies in BD are becoming increasingly important. The goal of the current study is three-fold: (1) summarize the evidence regarding economic evaluations (EEs) of non-pharmacological interventions for BD, (2) summarize cost-of-illness studies (COIs) for BD published 2012 or later and (3) assess the quality of the identified studies.

Methods A systematic search was conducted in MedLine, EMBASE and PsycINFO. For both EEs and COIs, quality assessments were conducted and general and methodological characteristics of the studies were extracted. Outcomes included incremental-cost-effectiveness ratios for EEs and direct and indirect costs for COIs.

Results Eight EEs and ten COIs were identified. The included studies revealed high heterogeneity in general and methodological characteristics and study quality. All interventions resulted in improved clinical outcomes. Five studies additionally concluded decreased total costs. For COIs, we found a wide range of direct ($881-$27,617) and indirect cost estimates per capita per year ($1,568-$116,062).

Limitations High heterogeneity in terms of interventions, study design and outcomes made it difficult to compare results across studies.

Conclusions Interventions improved clinical outcomes in all studies and led to cost-savings in five studies. Findings suggest that non-pharmacological intervention for BD might be cost-effective. Studies on the costs of BD revealed that BD has a substantial economic burden. However, we also found that the number of EEs was relatively low and methodology was heterogenous and therefore encourage future research to widen the body of knowledge in this research field and use standardized methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-401
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Economic evaluation
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Cost-benefit
  • Cost-of-illness
  • systematic review
  • CARE

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