A Cost Analysis of an Institutional Token Motivational System
Howley, Thomas J.
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The problem: An analysis was performed on the cost and effectiveness of a token motivational system in a state hospital. Procedure: A token economy program, designed and implemented by a multidisciplinary team, attempted to motivate 48 retarded residents to perform 27 self-help skills and 51 work tasks. Six weeks of residents' baseline performance was compared to the effects of eight weeks of treatment programming. Cost break-outs of the total treatment cost for direct and indirect treatment cost, three stages of program development and a comparison of the monthly ward cost with and without the treatment program were performed. Findings: The treatment program was effective in increasing the self-help and work behaviors. The various cost breakouts indicated that: (a) professional and non-professional time was reallocated cost to the system, (b) the only major additional cost to the system was supplies, (c) the dollar cost for operating a large number of projects was relatively small. Conclusion: A behavior modification program fulfills the requirements for a Program-Planning-Budgeting-System analysis and makes possible an evaluation of the cost and effectiveness of a residential treatment program. Recommendations: Future research should be directed toward developing more useful empirical cost data collection procedures.
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