According to a recent study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and published in the scientific journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, team-based treatment for individuals with psychosis is more cost-effective — and more useful — than typical psychiatric treatment.
The research study was led by Robert Rosenheck, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and public health at Yale University. His team wanted to determine whether coordinated specialty care (CSC), a team-based approach of treating psychotic disorders that involves a higher level of medical care than usual, can be more cost-effective than typical care.
The specific CSC program they examined was Navigate, or NAV. In this program, a team of highly trained, multidisciplinary professionals work with patients over the course of two years. NAV treatment is tailored to each individual and involves recovery-oriented psychotherapy, low-dose antipsychotic medication, family education and support, case management, and work or educational support. Compared to patients who received typical treatment, patients in NAV received 61 percent more days of rehabilitative services and six times as many meetings with their families.
What this means for patients
Previously published research has indicated that NAV patients have a significantly improved quality of life, an increase in days of employment or school attendance, and reduced psychiatric symptoms when compared to patients who receive typical care. Unfortunately, NAV also tends to be more expensive. In this particular study, the scientists wished to determine whether or not the benefits associated with NAV could counter the higher price tag.
The answer? Yes.
Even though team-based medical care is more expensive in the short-term, it produces far better results than typical treatment methods, making it a better value. These benefits were particularly pronounced for patients who began treatment soon after their psychosis symptoms developed.
“The take-home message of this sophisticated research is that health service costs are, not surprisingly, somewhat higher when the mental health system provides the full range of services these young people need at a very vulnerable time in their lives,” explained Robert Heinssen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at NIMH in a press release. “But these additional expenses have now been shown to be worth the investment in improving individuals’ health and functioning.”
Sovereign Health of California’s behavioral health treatment program uses innovative, evidence-based techniques to treat patients who are suffering from a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental and behavioral health disorders. Our licensed and multi-disciplinary medical professionals use several approaches to combat each condition. For more information, contact our 24/7 helpline.
About the author
Courtney Lopresti, M.S., is a senior staff writer for the Sovereign Health Group where she uses her scientific background to write online blogs and articles for a general audience. At the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Master’s in neuroscience, she used functional neuroimaging to study how the human cerebellum contributes to language processing. In her spare time, she writes fiction, reads Oliver Sacks and spends time with her two cats and bird. Courtney is currently located in Minneapolis. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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