A methodology for evaluating the costs and benefits of employee assistance programs

Michael T. French, Gary A. Zarkin, Jeremy W. Bray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Employee assistance programs (MPs) represent a relatively new fringe benefit for workers; the number of these programs has been steadily increasing in worksites of all sizes. Despite this surge in the growth of EAPs, few studies have estimated their costs or benefits. To guide future economic evaluation studies of EAPs, we have developed a methodology that has four components: a process description to understand the structure, operating environment, and goals of the EAP; a cost analysis to comprehensively identify and estimate the full range of EAP costs; an outcomes analysis to rigorously estimate the effectiveness of the EAP for groups of employees and the overall impact of the EAP on employee performance and workplace productivity; and an economic evaluation to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios, dollar benefits, and net benefits of the EAP. Our methodology is based on standard economic theory, but we present the evaluation strategy in a nontechnical way so that it can be used by employers and other researchers to estimate the costs and benefits of EAPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-470
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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