Building evidence for peer-led interventions: assessing the cost of the Adolescent Asthma Action program in Australia
|Published:||18 September 2014|
Asthma is the most common chronic illness among adolescents in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents, in particular, face substantial inequalities in asthma-related outcomes. Triple A (Adolescent Asthma Action) is a peer-led education intervention, which aims to improve asthma self-management and reduce the uptake of smoking among adolescents. The aim of this study was to determine the cost of implementing the Triple A program in Australia. Standard economic costing methods were used. It involved identifying the resources that were utilised (such as personnel and program materials), measuring them and then valuing them. We later performed sensitivity analysis so as to identify the cost drivers and a stress test to test how the intervention can perform when some inputs are lacking. Results indicate that the estimated cost of implementing the Triple A program in five schools was $41 060, assuming that the opportunity cost of all the participants and venues was accounted for. This translated to $8212 per school or $50 per target student. From sensitivity analysis and a stress test, it was identified that the cost of the intervention (in practice) was $14 per student. This appears to be a modest cost, given the burden of asthma. In conclusion, the Triple A program is an affordable intervention to implement in high schools. The potential asthma cost savings due to the program are significant. If the Triple A program is implemented nation-wide, the benefits would be substantial.