Economic evaluation provides a means of comparing the costs and outcomes of one or more mental health-care intervention or programme in an explicit framework. This in turn enables decision makers to assess the extent to which the intervention or strategy offers a good use of (scarce) resources. An analysis of costs alone, or indeed of outcomes alone, does not provide such information. This chapter describes how economic evaluations can be conducted, discusses some of the central design issues, and offers some illustrations.

The results of well-conducted economic evaluations can be channelled into decision-making processes at a succession of levels.

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