Cost-effectiveness analysis of a practice-based immunization education intervention

Ambul Pediatr. Mar-Apr 2007;7(2):167-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ambp.2006.12.001.


Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of academic detailing programs to improve immunization coverage in communities through implementation and evaluation of the Raising Immunizations Thru Education (RITE) program in the Greater Houston area.

Methods: RITE was a preintervention and postintervention pilot study with randomized intervention and control sites implemented in private practices in pediatrics and family medicine. Changes in self-reported provider behaviors (n = 186) and comparisons of immunization coverage levels between intervention (n = 61) and control (n = 62) practices were evaluated. Intervention costs, computed from the perspective of an agency wanting to replicate the intervention, included direct expenses and time costs, based on time logs and compensation. Sensitivity analysis describes variations in costs. The cost-effectiveness ratio was computed as dollars per additional outcome unit.

Results: The RITE intervention improved self-reported provider behavior. The immunization rates in the intervention group increased by 1 per cent, whereas immunization rates in the control group decreased by 2 per cent -3 per cent, but the 3 per cent - 4 per cent difference was not significant. A 1 per cent increase in practice immunization rates costs $424-$550, depending on the up-to-date criteria used and the targeted age group.

Conclusions: The costs for 1 additional child with up-to-date immunization status are higher than potential societal savings, as reported in the literature. This intervention does not have a favorable cost-benefit ratio.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pilot Projects
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Private Practice / organization & administration*
  • Teaching
  • Vaccination*