What is it about?

Health psychology research needs to report and compare more than the effectiveness of different treatment and prevention programs. To help funders decide which interventions to fund how much, researchers also need to report and compare costs to patients, to providers, to communities, and to society as a whole. Also important to report and compare: future savings in future health care expenses, savings in future income support, and increased earnings for patients and family. Analyzing these costs, benefits, and comparing costs to benefit as well as costs to effectiveness, can give funders and patients information they need to make the best decisions about funding and selecting health psychology services.

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Why is it important?

Money, providers, and patient time are all limited: health psychology research can help funders and patient choose the best way to spend those very limited resources, but only if that research reports costs and benefits in addition to effectiveness. How costs determine effectiveness and benefits can be understood only if researchers collect data on costs and benefits as well as effectiveness. Using guess-estimates instead of real data can make for poor decisions and wasted funding.


My motto for cost-inclusive research has long been to "deliver the best to the most for the least," that is, to deliver the best (treatment) to the most (people in need) for the least (money and other resources, so more people in need can get treatment).

Brian Yates
American University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cost-inclusive research on health psychology interventions: Why, how, and what next., Health Psychology, March 2023, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/hea0001280.
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