Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 3329–3344 | Cite as

Cost-Effectiveness of Parent–Child Interaction Therapy in Clinics versus Homes: Client, Provider, Administrator, and Overall Perspectives

  • Alexis N. French
  • Brian T. Yates
  • Timothy R. Fowles
Original Paper


Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is effective in decreasing negative child behaviors when delivered in clinics. Emerging research suggests that delivering PCIT in client homes can produce similar outcomes … but at what cost? Home PCIT still consumes valuable client time, but only for sessions. Home PCIT could reduce barriers to continued parent participation, and costs, by not requiring clients to spend time and money traveling to and from clinics. Home PCIT also does not require that parenting skills learned in clinics be generalized to homes. We assessed and compared costs of clinic and home PCIT at individual client and program levels of specificity from client and provider perspectives for 264 children and parents (clinic = 139, home = 125). We also included an administrator perspective and a client + provider + administrator = overall perspective. Multivariate analyses of covariance applied to imputed datasets found that, because significantly more sessions were held for PCIT delivered in homes than in clinics (a mean 18 versus 11 sessions, respectively), home PCIT cost significantly more from the overall perspective ($3913 versus $1821 per child receiving home versus clinic PCIT) and the provider perspective ($3326 versus $950 per child receiving home versus clinic PCIT), significantly less from the administrator perspective ($125 versus $397 per child receiving home versus clinic PCIT), and about the same from the client perspective ($352 versus $427 per child receiving home versus clinic PCIT). Cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs) calculated for individual clients were significantly better for clinic PCIT from provider and overall perspectives but not from the administrator or client perspectives.


Parent–Child Interaction Therapy PCIT Costs Effectiveness Cost-effectiveness Stakeholder perspective 


Author Contributions

A.F.: designed and conducted data analyses for this study, supervised by B.Y. with input by T.F. A.F. and T.F. assisted B.Y. in writing and revising the manuscript.


This research was supported in part by Grant Number SM58493 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) and administered by the State of Delaware’s Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committees, i.e., Institutional Review Boards of both American University and the University of Delaware, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

This study was done with archival, deidentified clinical records. The American University IRB granted a waiver of consent to analyze these deidentified data.

Supplementary material

10826_2018_1159_MOESM1_ESM.docx (550 kb)
Supplementary Materials


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis N. French
    • 1
  • Brian T. Yates
    • 1
  • Timothy R. Fowles
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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