Mood disorders are often linked with concurrent partner relational distress. The present study compared the cost effectiveness of treating mood disorder alone versus when the condition is comorbid with partner relational distress. Cigna, a leading health insurance management company in the US, provided outpatient data. Participants included patients with solely a mood disorder diagnosis (n = 72,712) and those with both a mood disorder and a comorbid partner relational distress diagnosis (n = 113, including 69 females and 44 males). These participants were treated in outpatient settings throughout the US. These numbers are surprisingly low considering the extensive literature showing a strong relationship between mood disorder and partner relational distress. A multivariate general linear model and binary logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. Results indicate that having a mood disorder present with a partner relational distress disorder significantly increased the average cost of care by about $471 per person compared to having solely a mood disorder. For mood disorders alone, there were also differences in cost effectiveness and readmission for mood disorders by professional license type, age, and gender with counselors being the most cost effective and medical doctors being the least (60% more costly). The treatment modality used impacted readmission rates, with family therapy having the lowest (8.54%) and mixed therapy having the highest (33.54%). Due to the small sample size, we were unable to determine the significance of subsequent analyses for comorbid disorders. Clinical implications and future directions for research will be discussed.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





mood disorders, depression, anxiety, partner relational distress, mental health care, therapy modality, family therapy, dropout, readmission, diagnosis, mixed therapy, Cigna, cost, cost effectiveness, number of sessions, treatment length