Mental health care costs: paucity of measurement

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Abstract

For an evaluation of a mental health care programme to be comprehensive, it should include an economic component. However, very few cost instruments appear to exist, and only one has been fully described in the literature. This paper seeks to review the studies where costs have been calculated. For this exercise to be facilitated the different elements which make up overall cost are described. A number of areas have experienced economic evaluations, and the more important studies are described. The paper concludes that all too often evaluations either fail to measure costs or do so in an incomplete and inappropriate way.