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Evidence for investing in parenting interventions aiming to improve child health: a systematic review of economic evaluations

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journal contribution
posted on 19.03.2022, 00:00 authored by F Sampaio, C Nystrand, I Feldman, Cathy Mihalopoulos
AbstractA comprehensive review of the economic evidence on parenting interventions targeting different aspects of child health is lacking to support decision-making. The aim of this review is to provide an up to date synthesis of the available health economic evidence for parenting interventions aiming to improve child health. A systematic review was conducted with articles identified through Econlit, Medline, PsychINFO, and ERIC databases. Only full economic evaluations comparing two or more options, considering both costs and outcomes were included. We assessed the quality of the studies using the Drummond checklist. We identified 44 studies of varying quality that met inclusion criteria; 22 targeting externalizing behaviors, five targeting internalizing problems, and five targeting other mental health problems including autism and alcohol abuse. The remaining studies targeted child abuse (n = 5), obesity (n = 3), and general health (n = 4). Studies varied considerably and many suffered from methodological limitations, such as limited costing perspectives, challenges with outcome measurement and short-time horizons. Parenting interventions showed good value for money in particular for preventing child externalizing and internalizing behaviors. For the prevention of child abuse, some programs had the potential of being cost-saving over the longer-term. Interventions were not cost-effective for the treatment of autism and obesity. Future research should include a broader spectrum of societal costs and quality-of-life impacts on both children and their caregivers.



European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


1 - 33




Berlin, Germany







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal