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23-03-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER Open Access

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Versus Treatment as Usual in Adults with ADHD: a Trial-Based Economic Evaluation

Lotte Janssen, Janneke P. C. Grutters, Melanie P. J. Schellekens, Cornelis C. Kan, Pieter J. Carpentier, Bram Sizoo, Sevket Hepark, Jan K. Buitelaar, Anne E. M. Speckens
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ADHD has a considerable economic impact. The aim of this study is to conduct a trial-based economic evaluation of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) added to treatment as usual (TAU) versus TAU in adults with ADHD.


A Dutch economic evaluation with a time horizon of 9 months was conducted from the societal perspective in the intention-to-treat (ITT) sample. Costs were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Outcomes were expressed in quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and response rate. Bootstrap simulations were performed to estimate mean costs, QALYs, response rate, incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and associated uncertainty. Additional sensitivity analyses were done with imputed data, without extreme cost outliers, using the per protocol sample, and from a health care perspective.


In the ITT sample, societal costs were €3572 for MBCT + TAU (n = 47; 95% CI 2416 to 4995) and €3389 for TAU (n = 49; 2327 to 4763). Average QALYs were 0.542 (0.522 to 0.563) per patient for MBCT + TAU and 0.534 (0.511 to 0.556) for TAU. In MBCT + TAU, more patients responded than in TAU (31% versus 6%; M bootstrapped difference 25%, 12 to 40%). ICERs were €21,963 per QALY gained and €389 per responder. At a threshold of €30,000 per QALY, the probability of MBCT being cost-effective was 51%. All sensitivity analyses showed more favorable results for MBCT + TAU.


In most analyses, MBCT was found to be more costly and effective, particularly in terms of disease-specific outcome, than TAU. If the threshold exceeds €30,000 per QALY and €1000 per responder, MBCT seemed cost-effective in treating adult ADHD.

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