The cost-effectiveness of treatments for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents: a systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2021, 1-16. 10.1007/s00787-021-01748-z
Economic evaluations can help decision makers identify what services for children with neurodevelopmental disorders provide best value-for-money. The aim of this paper is to review the best available economic evidence to support decision making for attention defcit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and adolescents. We conducted a systematic review of economic evaluations of ADHD and ASD interventions including studies published 2010–2020, identifed through Econlit, Medline, PsychINFO, and ERIC databases. Only full economic evaluations comparing two or more options, considering both costs and consequences were included. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Drummond checklist. We identifed ten studies of moderate-to-good quality on the cost-efectiveness of treatments for ADHD and two studies of good quality of interventions for ASD. The majority of ADHD studies evaluated pharmacotherapy (n=8), and two investigated the economic value of psychosocial/behavioral interventions. Both economic evaluations for ASD investigated early and communication interventions. Included studies support the cost-efectiveness of behavioral parenting interventions for younger children with ADHD. Among pharmacotherapies for ADHD, diferent combinations of stimulant/non-stimulant medications for children were cost-efective at willingness-to-pay thresholds reported in the original papers. Early intervention for children with suspected ASD was cost-efective, but communication-focused therapy for preschool children with ASD was not. Prioritizing more studies in this area would allow decision makers to promote cost-efective and clinically efective interventions for this target group.