Cost Analysis of a Randomized Trial of Getting to Outcomes Implementation Support of CHOICE in Boys and Girls Clubs in Southern California

Published in: Prevention Science, Volume 21, pages 245–255 (February 2020). doi: 10.1007/s11121-019-01082-6

Posted on RAND.org on March 11, 2020

by Patricia M. Herman, Matthew Chinman, Jill S. Cannon, Patricia A. Ebener, Patrick S. Malone, Joie D. Acosta, Elizabeth J. D'Amico

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Costs of supporting prevention program implementation are not well known. This study estimates the societal costs of implementing CHOICE, a voluntary after-school alcohol and other drug prevention program for adolescents, in Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCs) across Southern California with and without an implementation support system called Getting To Outcomes© (GTO). This article uses micro-costing methods to estimate the cost of the CHOICE program and GTO support. Labor and expense data were obtained from logs kept by the BGC staff and by the GTO technical assistance (TA) staff, and staff time was valued based on Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. From the societal perspective, the cost of implementing CHOICE at BGCs over the 2-year study period was $27 per attendee when CHOICE was offered by itself (all costs incurred by the BGCs) and $177 per attendee when CHOICE was offered with GTO implementation support ($67 cost to the BGCs; $110 to the entity funding GTO). These results were most sensitive to assumptions as to the number of times CHOICE was offered per year. Adding GTO implementation support to CHOICE increased the cost per attendee by approximately $150. For this additional cost, there was evidence that the CHOICE program was offered with more fidelity and offered more often after the 2-year intervention ended. If the long-term benefits of this better and continued implementation are found to exceed these additional costs, GTO could be an attractive structure to support evidence-based substance misuse prevention programs.

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