• borderline;
  • cost benefit;
  • outcome;
  • psychotherapy

Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary cost benefit study of the effect of outpatient psychotherapy, twice a week for 1 year, in 30 borderline patients.

Method: Costs to the health system in terms of inpatient care for the year before treatment were compared with the costs for the year following treatment.

Results: The cost of hospital admissions for the 30 patients for the year before treatment was $684 346 (range = $0–$143 756/patient). The cost of hospital admissions for the year after treatment was $41 424 (range = $0–$12 333/patient). These figures represent an average decrease in costs per patient of $21 431. By using the schedule fee as the basis, the estimated cost of therapy per patient was approximately $13 000, representing a saving/patient of $8431 or approximately $250 000 over the total cohort in the first year after treatment.

Conclusion: This study suggests that there is a significant cost benefit in the appropriate treatment of borderline patients.