Economic evaluations of psychosocial interventions in cancer: a systematic review

Mbathio Dieng*, Anne E. Cust, Nadine A. Kasparian, Graham J. Mann, Rachael L. Morton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although the effectiveness of many psychosocial interventions for people with cancer has been established, one barrier to implementation in routine clinical care is a lack of data on cost-effectiveness. We conducted a systematic review to assess the cost-effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for improving psychological adjustment among people with cancer. Methods: A systematic review of the literature, study appraisal and narrative synthesis. Results: Eight studies involving 1668 patients were identified. Four of these reported outcomes in a cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) framework. Six studies reported psychosocial interventions to be cost-effective for improving health-related quality of life, mood, pain, distress or fear of cancer progression, compared with usual care. Of the six psychosocial interventions identified as cost-effective, three were cognitive-behavioural therapy-based interventions, one was a nurse-delivered telephone follow-up plus educational group programme, one was a group-based exercise and psychosocial intervention and one was a series of 10 face-to-face or telephone-based individual support sessions delivered by a nurse. The quality of studies assessed according to the Consensus Health Economic Criteria-list criteria was good overall; however, some studies were limited by their choice of outcome measure and omission of important categories of costs. Conclusions: Several psychosocial interventions, particularly those based on cognitive-behavioural therapy, have been demonstrated to represent good value for money in cancer care. Future research should include a clear definition of the economic question, inclusion of all relevant costs, and consideration of utility-based quality of life measures for QALY estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1392
Number of pages13
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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