Cost-effectiveness of deep brain stimulation versus treatment as usual for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Pieter Ooms, Matthijs Blankers, Martijn Figee, Isidoor O. Bergfeld, Pepijn van den Munckhof, P. Richard Schuurman, Damiaan Denys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is effective for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but requires expensive medical procedures. To date, no study has examined the cost-effectiveness of DBS for OCD. Objective To perform the first economic evaluation of DBS for therapy refractory OCD. Methods We conducted a 2-year prospective, open cost-effectiveness study, comparing DBS (n = 17) with treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 11), with cost per Quality-Adjusted-Life-Year (QALY) as outcome measure. Apart from the base-case, or primary analysis, we conducted two practice-based scenarios: (1) standard care scenario, without research and innovation costs, and (2) rechargeable scenario, in which we assume the use of a rechargeable battery. Base-case and both scenarios were extrapolated to four years to estimate long-term cost-effectiveness. Results Compared to TAU, DBS provides an additional 0.26 QALY (SD = 0.16). Median cost per QALY gained is estimated at €141,446 for base-case, €115,916 for standard care and €65,394 for the rechargeable scenario. Extending the time-horizon to four years results in a median cost per QALY of €80,313 for base-case, €69,287 for standard care, and turned out to be cost-saving at €4678 per QALY for the rechargeable scenario. Assuming a willingness to pay threshold of €80,000/QALY, DBS, under base-case and standard care had 25% and 35% probability of being more cost-effective than TAU. With the rechargeable scenario and in all scenarios extrapolated to four years, the probability of cost-effectiveness was equal or higher than TAU. Conclusions This study indicates DBS for OCD is cost-effective in the long-term, especially when rechargeable batteries are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-842
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Economic evaluation
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychiatry


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