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Cost of post-deployment screening for mental illness in the UK military: findings from a cluster randomised controlled trial

Cost of post-deployment screening for mental illness in the UK military: findings from a cluster randomised controlled trial

Osumili, Beatrice, Mccrone, Paul ORCID: 0000-0001-7001-4502, Burdett, Howard, Jones, Norman, Fear, Nicola T., Wessely, Simon and Rona, Roberto J. (2019) Cost of post-deployment screening for mental illness in the UK military: findings from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Journal of Mental Health. ISSN 0963-8237 (Print), 1360-0567 (Online) (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2019.1581332)

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Abstract

Background: Little is known about the economic impact of military mental health screening.

Aims: To investigate (1) whether post-deployment screening of military personnel affects use and cost of services and (2) the impact of psychiatric morbidity on costs.

Methods: Participants were recruited from UK Royal Marine and Army platoons and randomised to an intervention group (which received tailored advice predicated upon mental health status) or a control group (which received general advice following assessment of mental health status). The intervention costs were calculated while service use and associated costs were assessed at 12 month follow-up.

Results: Data were available for 6,323 participants. Mean screening cost was £34. Service costs were slightly higher in the control group compared to the intervention group (£1,197 vs. £1,147) which was not statistically significant (bootstrapped 95% CI, -£363 to £434. In both groups, screening and control, costs were significantly higher for those who screened positive for mental health problems.

Conclusion: Costs were not affected by screening. In countries which have already implemented post-deployment screening, the political cost of disinvestment needs careful consideration. Those
who develop psychiatric morbidity have substantially higher care costs than those who do not.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: costs, economic evaluation, screening, military
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Mental Health
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2020 11:56
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27496

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