Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf


A health economic outcome evaluation of an internet-based mobile-supported stress management intervention for employees

by Ebert DD, Kählke F, Buntrock C, Berking M, Smit F, Heber E, Baumeister H, Funk B, Riper H, Lehr D

Objective This study aimed to estimate and evaluate the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of a guided internet- and mobile-supported occupational stress-management intervention (iSMI) for employees from the employer’s perspective alongside a randomized controlled trial.

Methods A sample of 264 employees with elevated symptoms of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS-10 ≥22) was randomly assigned either to the iSMI or a waitlist control (WLC) group with unrestricted access to treatment as usual. The iSMI consisted of seven sessions of problem-solving and emotion-regulation techniques and one booster session. Self-report data on symptoms of perceived stress and economic data were assessed at baseline, and at six months following randomization. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) with symptom-free status as the main outcome from the employer’s perspective was carried out. Statistical uncertainty was estimated using bootstrapping (N=5000).

Results The CBA yielded a net-benefit of EUR181 [95% confidence interval (CI) -6043–1042] per participant within the first six months following randomization. CEA showed that at a willingness-to-pay ceiling of EUR0, EUR1000, EUR2000 for one additional symptom free employee yielded a 67%, 90%, and 98% probability, respectively, of the intervention being cost-effective compared to the WLC.

Conclusion The iSMI was cost-effective when compared to WLC and even lead to cost savings within the first six months after randomization. Offering stress-management interventions can present good value for money in occupational healthcare.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2016;42(5):382-394  2015;41(2):164-174  2014;40(6):582-596  2006;32(1):1-4
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