A recent study has supported the efficacy of Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) compared to relaxation (REL) for the management of fibromyalgia (FM). The main objective of this paper is to examine the cost-utility of ABCT compared to REL in terms of effects on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as well as healthcare costs. Forty-two Spanish patients with FM received 8 weekly group sessions of ABCT or REL. Data collection took place at pre- and 3-month follow-up. Cost-utility of the two treatment groups (ABCT vs. REL) was compared by examining treatment outcomes in terms of QALYs (obtained with the EQ-5D-3L) and healthcare costs (data about service use obtained with the Client Service Receipt Inventory). Data analyses were computed from a completers, ITT, and per protocol approach. Data analysis from the healthcare perspective revealed that those patients receiving ABCT exhibited larger improvements in quality of life than those doing relaxation, while being less costly 3 months after their 8-week treatment program had ended (completers: incremental cost M, 95% CI = €-194.1 (-450.3 to 356.1); incremental effect M, 95% CI = 0.023 QALYs (0.010 to 0.141)). Results were similar using an ITT approach (incremental cost M, 95% CI = €-256.3 (-447.4 to -65.3); incremental effect M, 95% CI = 0.021 QALYs (0.009 to 0.033)). A similar pattern of results were obtained from the per protocol approach. This RCT has contributed to the evidence base of compassion-based interventions and provided useful information about the cost-utility of ABCT for FM patients when compared to relaxation. However, the small sample size and short follow-up period limited the generalizability of the findings.
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