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Cost-effectiveness of active transport for primary school children - Walking School Bus Program

Moodie, Marj, Haby, Michelle, Galvin, Leah, Swinburn, Boyd and Carter, Rob 2009, Cost-effectiveness of active transport for primary school children - Walking School Bus Program, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 6, no. 63, pp. 1-31, doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-63.

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Title Cost-effectiveness of active transport for primary school children - Walking School Bus Program
Author(s) Moodie, Marj
Haby, Michelle
Galvin, Leah
Swinburn, Boyd
Carter, RobORCID iD for Carter, Rob orcid.org/0000-0002-1586-5619
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 6
Issue number 63
Start page 1
End page 31
Total pages 31
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009-09-14
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary Background : To assess from a societal perspective the incremental cost-effectiveness of the Walking School Bus (WSB) program for Australian primary school children as an obesity prevention measure. The intervention was modelled as part of the ACE-Obesity study, which evaluated, using consistent methods, thirteen interventions targeting unhealthy weight gain in Australian children and adolescents.

Methods : A logic pathway was used to model the effects on body mass index [BMI] and disability-adjusted life years [DALYs] of the Victorian WSB program if applied throughout Australia. Cost offsets and DALY benefits were modelled until the eligible cohort reached 100 years of age or death. The reference year was 2001. Second stage filter criteria ('equity', 'strength of evidence', 'acceptability', feasibility', sustainability' and 'side-effects') were assessed to incorporate additional factors that impact on resource allocation decisions.

Results : The modelled intervention reached 7,840 children aged 5 to 7 years and cost $AUD22.8M ($16.6M;$30.9M). This resulted in an incremental saving of 30 DALYs (7:104) and a net cost per DALY saved of $AUD0.76M ($0.23M; $3.32M). The evidence base was judged as 'weak' as there are no data available documenting the increase in the number of children walking due to the intervention. The high costs of the current approach may limit sustainability.

Conclusions : Under current modelling assumptions, the WSB program is not an effective or cost-effective measure to reduce childhood obesity. The attribution of some costs to non-obesity objectives (reduced traffic congestion and air pollution etc.) is justified to emphasise the other possible benefits. The program's cost-effectiveness would be improved by more comprehensive implementation within current infrastructure arrangements. The importance of active transport to school suggests that improvements in WSB or its variants need to be developed and fully evaluated.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-6-63
Field of Research 140208 Health Economics
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019483

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.