227622 Assessing costs and savings associated with interventions implemented to reduce early childhood caries

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Joan O'Connell, PhD , Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
Judith Albino, PhD , University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

Rates of tooth decay are significantly higher among young children from lower income households and of some racial/ethnic backgrounds.


To describe a methodology developed to assess intervention costs, potential cost savings associated with reductions in early childhood caries (ECC), and the financial sustainability of two interventions aimed at reducing ECC in populations with documented health disparities.

Methods and Results

Intervention personnel cost data are collected using personnel logs and time-motion studies. Common cost measures for training, health promotion materials, dental supplies, and administrative overhead are defined. The model accounts for costs from both provider and societal perspectives, and includes costs associated with participant time and travel. Data on clinical outcomes, dental and medical service utilization, and biases related to parent-reported utilization data will be used to estimate program savings. Second-order Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analyses will be used to test the influence of cost and other estimates on outcomes. Outcome measures include cost and net cost per child served and per carious lesion averted. The methodology allows for outcomes to be measured using intervention-specific data and data that remove variability across interventions (e.g., number of participants, geographic variation in prices) so that outcomes may be compared across interventions.


Through use of a standardized method for evaluating costs and savings, it will be possible to assess and compare the financial feasibility and sustainability of the oral health interventions. The addition of cost outcomes to those related to clinical effectiveness, appropriateness, and acceptability strengthen evaluations of oral health interventions.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List measures used to conduct cost studies of oral health interventions Describe data sources for oral health cost studies Explain statistical methods used to analyze cost data Discuss implications of having reliable cost and cost effectiveness outcomes for oral health promotion and prevention programs

Keywords: Oral Health, Cost-Effectiveness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health economist and oversee the cost studies for the interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.