Background: Depression in adolescents is a serious problem to society because of the high prevalence rate, the high subjective burden of illness and negative (economic) consequences. Information regarding the economic burden of adolescent depression is scarce. The goal of this study is twofold. First, an overview of the literature on prevalence, burden of disease, and costs related to adult and adolescent depression is given. Second, a prevalence-based cost-of-illness study is being conducted. Methods: In this study a cost-of-illness study using a societal perspective was conducted using data of 56 clinically depressed Dutch adolescents aged 12-21. Bottom-up acquired costs were measured by means of cost questionnaires. Results: The calculations showed that clinically depressed adolescents referred to treatment cost the Dutch society (sic)37.7 million a year. The calculated costs were higher when a more recent prevalence rate was used in a secondary analysis. Limitations: Limitations of this study are that only older Dutch prevalence rates were available, a relatively small sample size was used and no long term costs could be calculated. Conclusion: Even though the sample size is small, the calculated costs are indicative for the societal costs of adolescents with depression. Cost-effective prevention and intervention methods seem warranted to reduce these enormous costs.
- COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY