Abstract for: Improving Efficiency and Capacity in Primary Health Care in Iceland Using System Dynamics

To identify the characteristics of treatments for mood- and anxiety disorders that maximize the effectiveness a system dynamics model was developed by using respective literature and extensive knowledge and experience from specialists in the field. Utilizing system dynamics modeling and existing literature on treatments for those disorders as well as information from working professionals in the field, it can be demonstrated how current treatment with medications can lead to accumulation in the system, with little short term benefits for patients but longer term loss for the health care and possibly the patient too. When it comes to policy changes in health care management regarding treatments for mood- and anxiety disorders, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is recommended as an alternative for the primary health care. This evaluation is based on results of modeling the existing system. CBT entails clear benefits and is an optimal choice, compared to the current state of system, when the objective is to help as many patients as possible in the most effective way without increasing the cost of treatments. Increased emphasis on other resources, like CBT, for patients with mood- and anxiety disorders can achieve improvements in patientís quality of life resulting in significant cost benefits for the society.