Colorectal cancer screening is the most underused evidence-based cancer screening test in the United States.
Few studies have reported the cost-effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening promotional efforts.
In a recent randomized controlled trial, a patient-directed intervention for average-risk patients who had been referred for screening colonoscopy led to a 12% increase in colorectal cancer screening rates.
Dr Charles Bennett and colleagues from Chicago, USA undertook a secondary analysis of patients to assess the cost-effectiveness of this intervention.
There were 395 patients in the control arm, and 386 patients in the intervention arm who received a customized mailed brochure.
|The total cost of the intervention was $1,927|
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
The brochure included a reminder to schedule a screening colonoscopy and general information about colorectal cancer, the importance of colorectal cancer screening, and how to prepare for the procedure.
The researchers' end point was completion of screening colonoscopy.
The research team derived costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of this patient-directed intervention.
Sensitivity analyses were based on varying the costs of labor and supplies.
The researchers found rates of colorectal cancer screening for the intervention versus control arms were 71% and 59%, respectively.
The total cost of the intervention was $1,927, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $43 per additional patient screened.
Dr Bennett's team concluded, "An intervention based on mailing a customized brochure to patients who were referred for a screening colonoscopy improved colorectal cancer screening rates at a university-based general medicine clinic."
"This intervention was comparable in effectiveness and cost-effectiveness to a similar recently reported low-intensity patient-directed colorectal cancer screening intervention."
"The intervention is markedly more affordable and cost-effective than a previously reported physician-directed colorectal cancer screening promotion intervention."