The Colic Clinic—a comprehensive program evaluation

Christine D Lobo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Child abuse correlated with excessive infant crying affects millions of families each year, with consequences of the abuse lasting a lifetime. The University Of Texas School Of Medicine's Colic Clinic is currently in the early stages of testing Dr. Harvey Karp's combinatorial soothing technique for infants called "The Happiest Baby on the Block". In order to gauge the program's potential effectiveness, the Colic Clinic Protocol was examined in order to assess the applicability of the intervention to known causal factors of child abuse associated with excessive infant crying. This evaluation also carried out an anticipated cost-benefit breakout analysis for the implementation of the intervention for 100 children and compared the cost of the program implementation to the cost associated with a single instance of child abuse. The analysis revealed that while accounting for materials, advertising, salaried personnel and other overhead expenses, the cost to implement the intervention was less than half the cost of the medical treatment associated with a single victim of whiplash-shaken infant syndrome. Although the program is still in its early evaluative phase, the future implications of this work are extensive. If this intervention is revealed to be relevant and cost effective, it will precipitate sweeping changes in medical education and training, public health detection and prevention programs, and law enforcement.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Lobo, Christine D, "The Colic Clinic—a comprehensive program evaluation" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1515596.