Self-help intervention for Syrian refugees is more cost-effective than improved care alone
Disclosures: Park does not report any relevant financial information. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.
According to a study published in JWADA Open network.
“Although the governments of most host countries, often in collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations, provide at least emergency care to refugees or asylum seekers, to date the availability of evidence-based mental health and psychosocial support programs for this group is insufficient,” A-La Park, MScfrom the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy II at the University of Ulm in Germany, and his colleagues wrote.
Park and fellow researchers sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of Self-Help Plus (SH+), a psychological self-help intervention developed by the WHO, combined with enhanced usual care and compared to usual care alone improved for Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The evaluation was performed as part of an evaluator-blind randomized clinical trial conducted between October 1, 2018 and November 30, 2019, with a follow-up of 6 months. A total of 627 adults (mean age, 31.3 years; 62.9% female) with psychological distress but no diagnosed psychiatric disorder were randomly assigned on a 1:1 basis to the SH+ intervention – one audio session of 2 out of 5 hours, group self-help classes on stress management or group enhanced usual care.
These included access to free health care services provided by primary and secondary institutions, as well as details of nongovernmental organizations and mental health services, social services and community networks available free of charge. The primary outcome was the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained from the perspective of the Turkish healthcare system. Data was analyzed from September 30, 2020 to July 30, 2021.
Results showed that an additional cost-utility estimate of T£6,068 (USD, $1,147) per QALY gained was found when the SH+ intervention was provided to groups of 10 Syrian refugees. With a willingness to pay per QALY gained of £14,831 ($2,802), the SH+ intervention had a 97.5% chance of being cost-effective compared to enhanced usual care alone.
“The results of this economic evaluation suggest that providing the SH+ intervention…may improve the quality of life in this population,” Park and colleagues wrote.