Prospective economic evaluation of a peer support intervention for prevention of postpartum depression among high-risk women in Ontario, Canada

Dmitry Dukhovny, Cindy Lee Dennis, Ellen Hodnett, Julie Weston, Donna E. Stewart, Wenyang Mao, John A.F. Zupancic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective A previous multisite, randomized, controlled trial of peer support compared with usual care for prevention of postpartum depression demonstrated a reduction in depression symptoms at 12 weeks postbirth. Our objective was to determine the cost-effectiveness of this intervention. Study Design Prospectively planned economic evaluation alongside the clinical trial to determine the cost per case of postpartum depression averted, using individual patient data (n = 610) and societal perspective. All costs were expressed in 2011 Canadian dollars. Results The mean cost per woman was 4,497 in the peer support group and 3,380 in the usual care group (difference of 1,117, p < 0.0001). There was a 95% probability that the program would cost less than 20,196 per case of postpartum depression averted. Conclusions Although this is a volunteer-based program, it results in a net cost to the health care system and society. However, this cost is within the range for other accepted interventions for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-642
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 3 2013



  • costs and cost analysis
  • depression
  • postpartum
  • prevention and control
  • resource allocation
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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