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Incredible Years parenting programme: cost-effectiveness and implementation

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Children's Services
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - 21 Mar 2016
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)54-72
Original languageEnglish


Purpose – There is growing interest in the economic evaluation of public health prevention initiatives and increasing government awareness of the societal costs of conduct disorder in early childhood. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cost-effectiveness of the Incredible Years (IY) BASIC parenting programme compared with a six-month waiting list control.

Design/methodology/approach – Cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of a group-parenting programme. The primary outcome measure was the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a measure of child behaviour.

Findings – The IY programme was found to have a high probability of being cost-effective, shifting an additional 23 per cent of children from above the clinical concern to below the cut-off on the SDQ compared to the control
group, at a cost ranging from £1612-£2418 per child, depending on the number of children in the group.

Originality/value – The positive findings of this study have led to ongoing implementation of the IY programme and is therefore an example of commitment to evidence-based service provision and investment in prevention initiatives.

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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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