Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing allows women to self-collect cervico-vaginal cells at home (i.e., self-sampling). Using primary data from a randomized pilot study, we evaluated the long-term consequences and cost-effectiveness of using self-sampling to improve participation to routine cervical cancer screening in Norway.
Methods: We compared a strategy reflecting screening participation (using reminder letters) to strategies that involved mailing self-sampling device kits to women noncompliant to screening within a 5- or 10-year period under two scenarios: (A) self-sampling respondents had moderate under-screening histories, or (B) respondents to self-sampling had moderate and severe under-screening histories. Model outcomes included quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) and lifetime costs. The “most cost-effective” strategy was identified as the strategy just below $100,000 per QALY gained.
Results: Mailing self-sampling device kits to all women noncompliant to screening within a 5- or 10-year period can be more effective and less costly than the current reminder letter policy; however, the optimal self-sampling strategy was dependent on the profile of self-sampling respondents. For example, “10-yearly self-sampling” is preferred ($95,500 per QALY gained) if “5-yearly self-sampling” could only attract moderate under-screeners; however, “5-yearly self-sampling” is preferred if this strategy could additionally attract severe under-screeners.
Conclusions: Targeted self-sampling of noncompliers likely represents good value-for-money; however, the preferred strategy is contingent on the screening histories and compliance of respondents.
Impact: The magnitude of the health benefit and optimal self-sampling strategy is dependent on the profile and behavior of respondents. Health authorities should understand these factors prior to selecting and implementing a self-sampling policy. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(1); 95–103. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Online (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received May 2, 2016.
- Revision received August 12, 2016.
- Accepted September 5, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.