The current study was a benefit cost analysis that examined mental and behavioral health and prescription drug service use data of 347 participants (212 youth and 135 caregivers) from a bereavement intervention, the Family Bereavement Program (FBP).The preliminary goals of the current study were to compare the FBP intervention and the Literature Control (LC) groups at the six year follow-up on: (a) number of participants using mental/behavioral health services and prescription drugs, (b) the frequency of use of mental/behavioral health services and prescription drugs, and (c) the costs of mental/behavioral health services and prescription drugs. The final, and primary goal, was to (d) calculate the benefits of the FBP by analyzing the monetary difference between the LC and FBP groups in terms of cost of services used and then by applying those benefits to the cost of the intervention. Data representing participating youths' and caregivers' mental health service use and prescription drug use at the sixth year post-intervention were collected, as were the costs of those services. Results indicated that fewer FBP participants used services and prescription drugs than the Literature Control (LC) participants, but FBP participants, particularly the youth, used some low intensity services more frequently whereas the LC youth used more intensive and costly services more frequently. Consequently, service costs were greater for participants in the LC group than for participants in the FBP group. The benefit cost ratio revealed that the FBP, as delivered, saved society between $.15 and $.27 in mental and behavioral health costs for every dollar spent on the intervention. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
- A benefit cost analysis of the mental health outcomes of the family bereavement program
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by Michèle M. Porter