Cost-benefit analysis for reading interventions

Cost-benefit analysis for reading interventions

First Author: Andrea Antoniuk -- University of Alberta
Keywords: Fluency, Reading, Intervention studies, Academic success, Early intervention
Abstract / Summary: 

The benefits of early intervention for struggling readers are well understood. Strategic cost management increases the probability that all struggling readers will receive interventions, without being waitlisted or denied. However, multiple reading interventions are available within each reading subskill, and they vary in cost, training, time required, and student-teacher ratio. Practitioners and researchers are presented with a challenge—to juggle all of the attributes of each reading intervention and use limited funds to select a few programs that they hope will have the greatest influence on educational outcomes. My aims in the present study were to a) develop a methodology that analyses the cost-effectiveness of reading interventions, and b) apply this methodology to fluency interventions (i.e., word reading speed) for Early Years readers. Over 600 publications were reviewed and 21 studies met selection criteria, enabling 5 reading interventions to be compared (i.e., Corrective Reading, HELPS, Read Naturally, Readers Theatre, QuickReads). HELPS was associated with the lowest cost per unit of effect size. The results contribute to the application of financially feasible, evidence-based practises.