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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
the cost-effectiveness, or expected benefits, so that the community can determine the potential value of their investment.
Recommendation 9-3: Researchers should include analysis of the costs and cost-effectiveness (and whenever possible cost-benefit) of interventions in evaluations of effectiveness studies (in contrast to efficacy trials).
Finally, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness studies of mental health promotion interventions—scarce in the literature to date—would be very useful in permitting a meaningful comparison of the relative desirability of prevention and promotion approaches.
In concluding this discussion, it is important to note that the significant societal benefits of preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral problems among young people may warrant intervention even when there is no specific cost-effectiveness data available, particularly if there is evidence that an effective intervention is available. Waiting for future cost-effectiveness analyses to become available, which might take years to develop, would put many young people at unnecessary risk.