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Taking a snapshot of the economics of prevention

Project title: Census of published economic evaluations of primary prevention strategies and interventions

Start date: May 2014
Estimated end date: June 2017

What is the issue?

Public health advocates and policy makers argue for a greater share of health resources to go to prevention and health promotion, but little is known about which interventions offer the best health returns. Also, there is little sense of what the economic literature in health promotion looks like overall – that is, where is the economic evidence plentiful and where is it lacking?

How is the project addressing the issue?

The project aims to take a snapshot of the current state of the economic evidence as it relates to prevention and health promotion. It aims to categorise all published economic evaluations of primary prevention interventions relevant to health policy in Australia, identifying areas where the economic evidence is plentiful and areas where more evaluation has to be done.

What are the expected outcomes?

  • An annotated bibliography of all published economic evaluations in prevention published between 2002 and 2013
  • A peer-reviewed paper commenting on the state of the current evidence and an indication of trends in its coverage over time
  • An assessment of the feasibility of developing a searchable database so that the Prevention Centre’s partners may more readily access relevant economic evidence.


Project lead

Project team

  • Hannah Jackson, La Trobe University
  • Diane Lorenzetti, University of Calgary

By identifying areas where the economic evidence is scant and where a new evaluation project might add value, this project will help to identify priorities for research to support the agenda of the Prevention Centre and our partners.

Expenditure on Preventive Health

Launch of final report, Preventive health: How much does Australia spend and is it enough?


Screening of citations is well underway