Development costs of a computer-generated tailored intervention

David R. Lairson, Georgina R. Newmark, William Rakowski, Jasmin A. Tiro, Sally W. Vernon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Computerized, individually tailored systems represent an important strategy for behavioral change in many areas of health promotion and disease prevention. This article estimates the cost of developing an expert system of targeted and tailored letters to improve compliance with mammography screening guidelines. The cost of developing the system was $0.25 mil. The average development cost was $4.24 when amortized over a 7-year period with a cohort of 10,000 persons. About half of the cost was incurred in defining the theoretic framework and supporting literature, constructing the variables and survey, and conducting focus groups. The remaining steps were developing the messages, algorithms, and database, and testing the system. About 65% of the cost was attributable to personnel expenses. Development cost is important for feasibility studies and ex-ante economic evaluation of alternative interventions. The findings from this study will aid health educators in designing and budgeting computer-generated tailored print interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Computer
  • Cost
  • Intervention development
  • Mammography screening
  • Tailoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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