March 28, 2016
Background: One billion children live in war-affected regions of the world. We conducted the first cost-effectiveness analysis of an intervention for war-affected youth in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as a broader cost analysis.
Methods: The Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI) is a behavioural treatment for reducing functional impairment associated with psychological distress among war-affected young persons. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from July 2012 to July 2013. Participants (n = 436, aged 15–24) were randomized to YRI (n = 222) or care as usual (n = 214). Functional impairment was indexed by the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale; scores were converted to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). An ‘ingredients approach’ estimated financial and economic costs, assuming a societal perspective. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were also expressed in terms of gains across dimensions of mental health and schooling. Secondary analyses explored whether intervention effects were largest among those worst-off ...