To determine the cost-effectiveness of an intervention that successfully reduced rapid repeated births within 2 years of an index birth to adolescent mothers.
Randomized, controlled trial conducted from February 2003 to October 2007.
Home-based intervention with participants recruited from 5 urban clinics that provide care to low-income African American communities.
Two hundred thirty-five pregnant teenagers (n = 235) aged 18 years or younger who were at 24 or more weeks of gestation at recruitment were followed up for 27 months.
Participants were randomly assigned to usual care (n = 68) or 1 of 2 home-based interventions conducted by community outreach workers: (1) computer-assisted motivational intervention (CAMI) conducted quarterly with additional visits (CAMI+ [n = 80]) or (2) CAMI only (n = 87), a single-component motivational intervention conducted quarterly.
Additional births by 24 months post partum determined from birth certificates, total and weighted mean intervention costs, cost per participant, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, defined as cost per prevented repeated birth.
Relative to usual care, CAMI significantly reduced repeated births (adjusted odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.97). Mean intervention costs per adolescent were $2064, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios per prevented repeated birth of $21 895 (unadjusted), $17 388 (adjusted), and $13 687 for a high-risk subgroup termed newly insured (eligible for but not enrolled in public insurance).
The CAMI costs and cost-effectiveness compare favorably with other effective programs aimed at preventing repeated teenage births. Replication of these results in broader samples of adolescents would provide policy guidance for what works, for whom, and at what cost.