Sustainability of behavioral interventions: beyond cost-effectiveness analysis

Int J Behav Med. 2015 Jun;22(3):425-33. doi: 10.1007/s12529-014-9437-z.


Background: Behavioral researchers need to ensure that successful interventions are sustained after the efficacy and effectiveness research concludes.

Purpose: This article provides an overview of economic analyses that can be incorporated into behavioral medicine interventions to promote sustainability and recommendations regarding their use. We suggest that researchers interested in ensuring that their interventions are sustained include a budget impact analysis and identify the return on investment to the organizations or groups who must adopt and maintain the interventions at the conclusion of the study.

Recommendations: We advocate the use of a thorough budget impact analysis that includes assessments of the change in costs and revenues for each organization over the short run and the monetary value of the intervention to the participants.

Conclusions: By anticipating the types of economic information that will best promote sustainability, behavioral medicine researchers can better ensure the successful dissemination and translation of their interventions into sustained practice.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / economics
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Budgets*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Humans