The overall aim of this dissertation is therefore to explore different ways of improving the methodology of economic evaluations of interventions for externalizing disorders in adolescents. This thesis takes first (explorative) steps in addressing this issue and bridging the gap between the specific goals of interventions for adolescents with externalizing behavioral disorders and conventional health economic methodology. We investigate this by first applying conventional methodology (using health economic modeling techniques, value of information analysis and the QALY as outcome measure), then using a simple one-dimensional alternative outcome measure, and finally developing a broader, preference based outcome measure. Ultimately, this thesis aims to contribute to the improvement of health economic evaluations of interventions targeted at externalizing mental disorders, making such evaluations more valuable for policymaking.
In this thesis, a number of steps will be taken in designing a comprehensive outcome measure, potentially useful in evaluations of interventions aimed at treating externalizing disorders. We note upfront that having a separate measure for this context necessarily compromises comparability of results of economic evaluations across different settings. However, it also improves the comprehensiveness of the captured benefits deemed important in the context of mental health. Hence, in this search, we may sacrifice part of the comparability between interventions in exchange for a more comprehensive and meaningful outcome measure.