Home Visits: A Cost-effective Option for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
Home visits may improve care, quality of life, and treatment adherence in some patients. Researchers from Brazil compared the cost-effectiveness of outpatient treatment (OT) with OT plus home visits (HV) among 120 people with alcohol dependence as part of a randomized controlled trial. Both groups received 20 group motivational interviewing sessions in 3 months. At the beginning of treatment, patients in the intervention group received 4 HV geared toward improving adherence. Patients who dropped out were considered nonabstinent.
- Dropouts were more common in the OT group (38% versus 15%).
- Fifty-eight percent of patients in the HV group were abstinent at 3 months compared with 43% in the OT group (p=0.1).
- Compared with OT, the additional total cost of HV (including medical, productivity, and other costs) to achieve 1 more abstinent patient was US $1,852.
- In sensitivity analyses biased against HV, HV cost $2,334 per 1 more abstinent patient compared with OT.