Cost effective analysis of recall methods for cervical cancer screening in Selangor--results from a prospective randomized controlled trial

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014; 15: 5143-7

Author

Rashid RM, Ramli S, John JDahlui M

Abstract

Cervical cancer screening in Malaysia is by opportunistic Pap smear which contributes to the low uptake rate. To overcome this, a pilot project called the SIPPS program (translated as information system of Pap smear program) had been introduced whereby women aged 20-65 years old are invited for Pap smear and receive recall to repeat the test. This study aimed at determining which recall method is most cost-effective in getting women to repeat Pap smear. A randomised control trial was conducted where one thousand women were recalled for repeat smear either by registered letter, phone messages, phone call or the usual postal letter. The total cost applied for cost-effectiveness analysis includes the cost of sending letter for first invitation, cost of the recall method and cost of two Pap smears. Cost-effective analysis (CEA) of Pap smear uptake by each recall method was then performed. The uptake of Pap smear by postal letter, registered letters, SMS and phone calls were 18.8%, 20.0%, 21.6% and 34.4%, respectively (p<0.05). The CER for the recall method was lowest by phone call compared to other interventions; RM 69.18 (SD RM 0.14) compared to RM 106.53 (SD RM 0.13), RM 134.02 (SD RM 0.15) and RM 136.38 (SD RM 0.11) for SMS, registered letter and letter, respectively. ICER showed that it is most cost saving if the usual method of recall by postal letter be changed to recall by phone call. The possibility of letter as a recall for repeat Pap smear to reach the women is higher compared to sending SMS or making phone call. However, getting women to do repeat Pap smear is better with phone call which allows direct communication. Despite the high cost of the phone call as a recall method for repeat Pap smear, it is the most cost-effective method compared to others.


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