Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit analyses of family interventions for families with pediatric physical illness have not been published. Reducing the cost of illness care, including preventing hospitalizations or medical or psychiatric complications of the illness, would result in significant cost reductions for these families and society. Costs of education or psychoeduca-tional programs are generally modest, especially if carried out by case managers, child life specialists, or experienced parents. Potential benefits to families include a more satisfying family life and improved functioning and developmental outcomes for the ill child or siblings. Family therapy for individual families with serious difficulties is often time intensive and can be costly. The effectiveness of the therapy in achieving improvement in specific goal-related areas must be demonstrated through re search to enable a thorough cost-benefit analysis. In the absence of these data, family therapy is warranted based on the significance of the difficulties and the availability and accessibility of experienced and knowledgeable clinicians.

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