This paper reviews seven cost-benefit estimates made in prevention studies published in peer-reviewed journal articles or peer-edited book chapters. This paper includes articles that examined prevention programs implemented on an individual level and programs that involved community coalitions, using both individual and environmental strategies. The studies showed considerable differences in approach both to prevention and to cost-benefit analyses. Increasing evidence exists that some prevention programs are effective, but the programs reported here also have demonstrated that they are cost-beneficial. The literature reveals that the savings per dollar spent ranged from $2.00 to $19.64. The variability in the range can be attributed to how costs were calculated, outcomes included, and differences in methodologies.
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Swisher, J.D., Scherer, J. & Yin, R.K. Cost-Benefit Estimates in Prevention Research. The Journal of Primary Prevention 25, 137–148 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOPP.0000042386.32377.c0