IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Issues in evaluating the costs and cost-effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for overweight/obese adolescents, CHERE Working Paper 2009/1


  • Marion Haas

    () (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Richard Norman

    () (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Jeff Walkley
  • Leah Brennan


Economic evaluation is the systematic assessment of the costs and consequences of alternative courses of action. In health and healthcare, the results can be used to inform clinicians and policy makers about the relative cost-effectiveness of options under consideration [1]. Many economic evaluations are undertaken alongside randomised controlled trials (RCTs); the advantages of this approach are that i) prospective, accurate data can be collected on costs and effects and ii) appropriate outcome measures for use in economic evaluation can be chosen. The outcome of an economic evaluation is usually described as a ratio of the costs and effects ? often called the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The ICER is determined by calculating the differences in the costs and effects of both intervention and control groups and dividing the former by the latter. In designing an economic evaluation, the important questions to resolve are: which costs should be included and which outcome measures are most appropriate for estimating the cost-effectiveness ratio? In 2005, the Australian Technology Network of Universities funded the Centre for Metabolic Fitness (CMF) through a competitive, peer-reviewed process. The aims of the centre are to develop and evaluate diet and exercise interventions to counteract metabolic syndrome and assess their acceptability by target community groups. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolically determined risk factors associated with obesity (e.g. hypertension, impaired blood glucose etc). A number of collaborative projects have been developed within the centre, one of which is the CHOOSE HEALTH project. As part of this project, the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an intervention for overweight or obese adolescents has been trialled at the University of RMIT by Leah Brennan and the University of South Australia by Margarita Tsiros, as part of their post-graduate studies1. Subsequently, it has been decided to add an economic component to this work. Trials of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different means of delivering cognitive behaviourally based weight management programs are planned2. This paper reports the results of investigations into the two questions which need to be addressed prior to undertaking a formal economic evaluation of the CHOOSE HEALTH program: i) what costs should be included and ii) which measures of outcome are suitable for estimating an ICER in this context. The paper is organised in four sections. Following the introduction (section 1) and brief descriptions of the background to and context in which the program was planned (section 2), details of the RMIT trial design and results are provided in section 3. In the final section (section 4), a cost model is presented and the implications of the outcomes used in the initial trials of the effectiveness are discussed in relation to designing a prospective economic evaluation of the CHOOSE HEALTH program.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Haas & Richard Norman & Jeff Walkley & Leah Brennan, 2009. "Issues in evaluating the costs and cost-effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for overweight/obese adolescents, CHERE Working Paper 2009/1," Working Papers 2009/1, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2009/1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, January 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Norman & Paula Cronin & Rosalie Viney & Madeleine King & Deborah Street & John Brazier & Julie Ratcliffe, 2007. "Valuing EQ-5D health states: A review and analysis, CHERE Working Paper 2007/9," Working Papers 2007/9, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    costs; economic evaluation; cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); adolescent obesity; Australia;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2009/1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Liz Chinchen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.