Costs of a public health model to increase receipt of hepatitis-related services for persons with mental illness

Eric P. Slade, Stanley Rosenberg, Lisa B. Dixon, Richard W. Goldberg, George L. Wolford, Seth Himelhoch, Stephanie Tapscott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined the costs and impact on receipt of hepatitis and HIV testing and hepatitis immunization services of a public health intervention model that was designed for use by persons with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. Methods: Between 2006 and 2008, a random sample of 202 nonelderly, predominantly African-American males with a psychotic or major depressive disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder was recruited at four community mental health outpatient programs in a large metropolitan area. Participants were randomly assigned at each site to enhanced treatment as usual (N=97), including education about blood-borne diseases and referrals for testing and vaccinations, or to an experimental intervention (N=105) that provided on-site infectious disease education, screening of risk level, pretest counseling, testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C, vaccination for hepatitis A and B, and personalized risk-reduction counseling. The authors compared the two study groups to assess the average costs of improving hepatitis and HIV testing and hepatitis A and B vaccination in this population. Results: The average cost per participant was $423 for the intervention and $24 for the comparison condition (t=52.7, df=201, p<.001). The costs per additional person tested was $706 for hepatitis C, $776 for hepatitis B, and $3,630 for HIV, and the cost per additional person vaccinated for hepatitis was $561. Conclusions: Delivery of hepatitis and HIV public health services to persons with serious mental illness in outpatient mental health settings can be as cost-effective as similar interventions for other at-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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