Examining the cost-effectiveness of cancer screening promotion

Authors

  • M. Robyn Andersen M.P.H., Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
    2. School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue N., PO Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98102-1024
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    • Fax: (206) 667-7264

  • Nicole Urban Sc.D.,

    1. Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
    2. School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Scott Ramsey M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
    2. School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Peter A. Briss M.D., M.P.H.

    1. Systematic Reviews Section, Community Guide Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • This article is a U.S. Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  • The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Government.

Abstract

Cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) can help to quantify the contribution of the promotion of a screening program to increased participation in screening. The cost-effectiveness (C/E) of screening promotion depends in large part on the endpoints of interest. At the most fundamental level, the C/E of a strategy for promoting screening would focus on the attendance rate, or cost per person screened, and the C/E would be influenced by the costs of promotion, as well as by the size and responsiveness of the target population. In addition, the costs of screening promotion (measured as the cost per additional participant in screening) can be included in a CEA estimate of the screening technology. In this case, depending on the efficacy of the screening test and the costs and influence of the promotion, the C/E of screening may improve or become poorer. In the current study, the authors reviewed the literature on the C/E of cancer screening promotion. The following lessons were learned regarding the C/E of screening and its promotion: 1) high-quality information on the C/E of screening is increasingly available; 2) cost-effective promotion of screening is dependent on cost-effective screening strategies; 3) quality-of-life effects may be important in assessing the overall C/E of screening programs; 4) research efforts aimed at identifying cost-effective approaches to screening promotion are useful but sparse; 5) C/E studies should be better incorporated into well designed effectiveness research efforts; 6) variations in C/E according to intervention characteristics, population characteristics, and context should be evaluated in greater depth; 7) the long-term effects of screening promotion are critical to assessing C/E; 8) the effects of promotion on costs of screening must be better understood; and 9) CEA must be interpreted in light of other information. The authors showed that CEA can be a valuable tool for understanding the merits of health promotion interventions and that CEA is particularly valuable in identifying screening strategies that might be promoted most cost-effectively. Cancer 2004;101(5 Suppl). Published 2004 by the American Cancer Society.

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