Cost effectiveness of internet interventions: Review and recommendations
BACKGROUND: Internet interventions have a large potential for public health impact, and their efficacy has been established over the past 10–15 years. Cost effectiveness of Internet interventions is one of the most frequently cited reasons for developing such treatments. PURPOSE: This paper provides a review of economic evaluations of Internet interventions with specific recommendations for future economic analyses of Internet interventions. METHODS: A review of PubMed from 1995 through 2008 was conducted. RESULTS: We identified eight studies that reported specific economic indicators associated with an Internet intervention, though many were lacking comprehensive analyses. Issues related to analysis perspective, included costs, type of analysis performed, and appropriate outcomes for Internet interventions are explored. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of cost data published to date is likely a reflection of the early stage of research for many papers published during the review period. As the field now moves to effectiveness studies, it is important for cost-effectiveness data to be collected.