Costing behavioral interventions: a practical guide to enhance translation

Ann Behav Med. 2009 Apr;37(2):218-27. doi: 10.1007/s12160-009-9088-5. Epub 2009 Mar 17.


Background/purpose: Cost and cost effectiveness of behavioral interventions are critical parts of dissemination and implementation into non-academic settings. Due to the lack of indicative data and policy makers' increasing demands for both program effectiveness and efficiency, cost analyses can serve as valuable tools in the evaluation process.

Methods: To stimulate and promote broader use of practical techniques that can be used to efficiently estimate the implementation costs of behavioral interventions, we propose a set of analytic steps that can be employed across a broad range of interventions.

Results/conclusions: Intervention costs must be distinguished from research, development, and recruitment costs. The inclusion of sensitivity analyses is recommended to understand the implications of implementation of the intervention into different settings using different intervention resources. To illustrate these procedures, we use data from a smoking reduction practical clinical trial to describe the techniques and methods used to estimate and evaluate the costs associated with the intervention. Estimated intervention costs per participant were $419, with a range of $276 to $703, depending on the number of participants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior Therapy / economics*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Behavioral Medicine / economics
  • Behavioral Medicine / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / economics
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Program Evaluation / economics
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / economics
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Young Adult