Cost-Effectiveness of Depression Screening for Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Residents

Maxwell P. Kligerman, Erin E. Devine, Jessica P. Bentzley, Uchechukwu C. Megwalu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of screening and treating otolaryngology–head and neck surgery residents for depression. Methods: A Markov model was built using TreeAgePro, version 2019 (TreeAge Software Inc.; Williamstown, MA) to assess the cost-effectiveness of five potential treatment algorithms: 1) treat all residents with psychotherapy, 2) screen and treat depressed residents with psychotherapy, 3) screen and treat depressed residents with pharmacotherapy, 4) screen and treat depressed residents with combination psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy, and 5) no intervention. A Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA), consisting of 1 thousand simulations over a cumulative 5-year period, was performed to evaluate both base case values and a range of values for model variables. Results: Screening residents for depression and treating with combination psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy was cost-effective and the optimal strategy at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 thousand per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). This option demonstrated an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $27,578 per QALY for base case values. PSA confirmed these results and demonstrated that screening residents for depression and treating with either combination pharmacotherapy/psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy alone, or psychotherapy alone were cost-effective options in 94.9% of simulations. Conclusion: Depression and burnout remain crucial issues among resident physicians. This study demonstrates that actively screening residents for depression is cost-effective. Based on these results, residency programs may consider trialing standardized depression screening protocols. Level of Evidence: I and II. Laryngoscope, 131:502–508, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume131
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • burnout
  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • residents
  • screening

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