Cost-benefit Analysis of the Coping and Promoting Strength Program

Eric P. Slade, Golda S. Ginsburg, Mark A. Riddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to estimate the net benefits and return on investment (ROI, %) of the Coping and Promoting Strength (CAPS) program to families and insurers, respectively, using data from a multi-year follow up of 136 US families who had participated in a randomized efficacy trial of CAPS. CAPS is a brief parent-focused psychosocial intervention that was compared to information monitoring in the trial. Of the 136 original participants, 113 (83%) completed follow-up interviews 7.1 years, on average, after the CAPS study baseline (mean follow-up age: 15.8 years; range: 13.1 to 20.8 years). Parent-reported willingness-to-pay values and estimates of behavioral healthcare cost savings from delayed onset of anxiety were used to simulate the average net benefits of CAPS to families and insurance plans, respectively, assuming patients pay 20% coinsurance. Psychologists in private offices were expected to charge an average of approximately $195 per CAPS session or $1417 in total in 2020 dollars. The estimated family share of the total CAPS session cost was $283 per youth, while the insurer share was $1134 per youth. Given these costs, the CAPS intervention was estimated to result in average overall net benefits of $1033 per youth (95% CI: -$546 to $2611). Families gained $344 (95% CI: $232 to $455 per family) for an ROI of 121%. Insurance plans on average gained a net savings of $689 per youth (95% CI: -$778 to $2156 per youth) for an average ROI of 61%. In this multiyear follow-up of offspring of anxious parents, exposure to the CAPS pediatric anxiety prevention program was found to be more economically efficient than was waiting for an anxiety disorder to be diagnosed. Identifier: NCT00847561.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1107
Number of pages12
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Health insurance
  • Pediatric anxiety
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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