ObjectiveWe examined the cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation treatment for psychiatric inpatients.
MethodSmokers, regardless of intention to quit, were recruited during psychiatric hospitalization and randomized to receive stage-based smoking cessation services or usual aftercare. Smoking cessation services, quality of life, and biochemically verified abstinence from cigarettes were assessed during 18 months of follow-up. A Markov model of cost-effectiveness over a lifetime horizon was constructed using trial findings and parameters obtained in a review of the literature on quit and relapse rates and the effect of smoking on health care cost, quality of life, and mortality.
ResultsAmong 223 smokers randomized between 2006 and 2008, the mean cost of smoking cessation services was $189 in the experimental treatment group and $37 in the usual care condition (P < .001). At the end of follow-up, 18.75% of the experimental group was abstinent from cigarettes, compared to 6.80% abstinence in the usual care group (P < .05). The model projected that the intervention added $43 in lifetime cost and generated 0.101 additional quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $428 per QALY. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis found the experimental intervention was cost-effective against the acceptance criteria of $50,000/QALY in 99.0% of the replicates.
ConclusionsA cessation intervention for smokers identified in psychiatric hospitalization did not result in higher mental health care costs in the short-run and was highly cost-effective over the long-term. The stage-based intervention was a feasible and cost-effective way of addressing the high smoking prevalence in persons with serious mental illness.
Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00136812.