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Objectives. This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children through prevention of serious delinquent behavior. Cost-effectiveness was assessed in net-monetary benefit (NMB). Methods. To evaluate the three major forms of ADHD treatment (medication management, behavioral treatment, and the combination thereof) relative to community-delivered treatment (control condition), we used data from 448 children, aged 7 to 10, who participated in the National Institute of Mental Health's Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD. We developed a three-state continuous-time Markov model (no delinquency, minor to moderate delinquency, serious delinquency) to extrapolate the results 10 years beyond the 14-month trial period at a 3% discount rate. Serious delinquency was considered an absorbing state to enable assessment in life-years (LYs) of serious delinquent behavior prevented. The willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold was set equal to the annual cost associated with serious delinquency in children with ADHD of $12,370. Results. Modeled and observed outcomes matched closely with a mean difference of 6.9% in LYs of serious delinquent behavior prevented. The economic evaluation revealed a NMB of $95,449, $88,553, $90,536 and $98,660 for medication management, behavioral treatment, combined treatment, and routine community care, respectively. Estimates remained stable after linearly increasing the WTP threshold between $0 and $50,000 in the deterministic sensitivity analyses. Conclusions. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of treatments for ADHD in children using continuous-time Markov modeling. We show that treatment evaluation in broader societal outcomes is essential for policy makers, as the three major forms of ADHD treatment turned out to be inferior to the control condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2381468319867629
JournalMDM policy & practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28-Aug-2019

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