A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people was conducted. MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, OT seeker and unpublished trials registers were searched. Reference lists of all potentially eligible studies were searched with no language restrictions. We included trial-based full economic evaluations that considered both costs and outcomes in occupational therapy for older people compared with standard care (i.e. other therapy) or no intervention. We reviewed each trial for methodological quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and assessed the quality of economic evaluations using a Drummond checklist. In the results of this review, we included five eligible studies (1-5) that were randomized controlled trials with high-quality economic evaluation. Two studies were full economic evaluations of interventions for fall prevention (1 and 2); two studies were full economic evaluations of preventive occupational therapy interventions (3 and 4; one was a comparison of an occupational therapy group with a social work group); one study was a full economic evaluation of occupational therapy for individuals with dementia (5). Two of the studies (one was preventive occupational therapy  and the other was occupational therapy for dementia ) found a significant effect and confirmed the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people compared with the control group. These studies found that occupational therapy for older people was clinically effective and cost-effective in comparison with standard care or other therapies. With reference to their clinical implication, these intervention studies (using a client-centred approach) suggested potentially cost-effective means to motivate clients to maintain their own health. However, this review has limitations because of the high heterogeneity of the reviewed studies on full economic evaluations of occupational therapy for older people. Future studies on the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy in older people are strongly warranted.
- Cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy
- Older people
- Systematic review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Occupational Therapy