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Should we provide oral health training for staff caring for people with intellectual disabilities in community based residential care? A cost-effectiveness analysis



Should we provide oral health training for staff caring for people with intellectual disabilities in community based residential care? A cost-effectiveness analysis



Evaluation and Program Planning 55: 46-54



Oral health training is often introduced into community-based residential settings to improve the oral health of people with intellectual disabilities (ID). There is a lack of appropriate evaluation of such programs, leading to difficulty in deciding how best to allocate scarce resources to achieve maximum effect. This article reports an economic analysis of one such oral health program, undertaken as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial. Firstly, we report a cost-effectiveness analysis of training care-staff compared to no training, using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Effectiveness was measured as change in knowledge, reported behaviors, attitude and self-efficacy, using validated scales (K&BAS). Secondly, we costed training as it was scaled up to include all staff within the service provider in question. Data were collected in Dublin, Ireland in 2009. It cost between €7000 and €10,000 more to achieve modest improvement in K&BAS scores among a subsample of 162 care-staff, in comparison to doing nothing. Considering scaled up first round training, it cost between €58,000 and €64,000 to train the whole population of staff, from a combined dental and disability service perspective. Less than €15,000-€20,000 of this was additional to the cost of doing nothing (incremental cost). From a dental perspective, a further, second training cycle including all staff would cost between €561 and €3484 (capital costs) and €5815 (operating costs) on a two yearly basis. This study indicates that the program was a cost-effective means of improving self-reported measures and possibly oral health, relative to doing nothing. This was mainly due to low cost, rather than the large effect. In this instance, the use of cost effectiveness analysis has produced evidence, which may be more useful to decision makers than that arising from traditional methods of evaluation. There is a need for CEAs of effective interventions to allow comparison between programs. Suggestions to reduce cost are presented.

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Accession: 058848601

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26722699

DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.12.003


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