Italian regional health service costs for diagnosis and 1-year treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents

Gianluigi Casadei, Massimo Cartabia, Laura Reale, Antonella Costantino, Maurizio Bonati, Stefano Conte, Valeria Renzetti, Laura Salvoni, Massimo Molteni, Sara Trabattoni, Paola Effedri, Elena Filippini, Elisabetta Pedercini, Edda Zanetti, Nadia Fteita, Daniele Arisi, Roberta Mapelli, Simona Frassica, Simonetta Oriani, Christian TrevisanSusanna Acquistapace, Ottaviano Martinelli, Davide Villani, Emanuela Binaghi, Andrea Deriu, Ernesta Ricotta, Arianna Borchia, Paola Morosini, Maddalena Breviglieri, Giuseppe Capovilla, Roberto Segala, Claudio Bissoli, Maria Paola Canevini, Antonella Costantino, Isabella Cropanese, Anna Didoni, Emiddio Fornaro, Silvia Merati, Alberto Ottolini, Monica Saccani, Roberto Vaccari, Vera Valenti, Alessandra Valentino, Umberto Balottin, Matteo Chiappedi, Elena Vlacos, Corrado Meraviglia, Maria Grazia Palmieri, Gianpaolo Ruffoni, Giorgio Rossi, Lombardy ADHD Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main aim of this study was to estimate the costs associated with diagnostic assessment and 1-year therapy in children and adolescents enrolled in 18 ADHD reference centres. Data concerning 1887 children and adolescents from the mandatory ADHD registry database during the 2012-2014 period were analysed. The overall diagnostic and treatment costs per patient amounts to €574 and €830, respectively. The ADHD centre, the school as sender, and the time to diagnosis constitute cost drivers. Non-pharmacological therapy resulted as being more expensive for patients concomitantly treated with drugs (€929) compared to those treated with psychological interventions alone (€590; p=0.006). This study gives the first and reliable estimate of the costs associated with both diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in Italy. Although costs associated with mental disorders are difficult to estimate, continuing efforts are need to define costs and resources to guarantee appropriate care, also for ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2017


  • Ambulatory/outpatient care
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Health care costs
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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