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Healthcare and patient costs of a proactive chlamydia screening programme: the Chlamydia Screening Studies project
  1. Suzanne Robinson1,
  2. Tracy Roberts1,
  3. Pelham Barton1,
  4. Stirling Bryan1,
  5. John Macleod3,
  6. Anne McCarthy2,
  7. Matthias Egger2,4,
  8. Emma Sanford2,
  9. Nicola Low2,4,
  10. for the Chlamydia Screening Studies (ClaSS) Project Group
  1. 1Health Economics Facility, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 MsS Robinson
 Health Economics Facility, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, 40 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2RT, UK;s.m.robinson{at}


Background and objective: Most economic evaluations of chlamydia screening do not include costs incurred by patients. The objective of this study was to estimate both the health service and private costs of patients who participated in proactive chlamydia screening, using mailed home-collected specimens as part of the Chlamydia Screening Studies project.

Methods: Data were collected on the administrative costs of the screening study, laboratory time and motion studies and patient-cost questionnaire surveys were conducted. The cost for each screening invitation and for each accepted offer was estimated. One-way sensitivity analysis was conducted to explore the effects of variations in patient costs and the number of patients accepting the screening offer.

Results: The time and costs of processing urine specimens and vulvo-vaginal swabs from women using two nucleic acid amplification tests were similar. The total cost per screening invitation was £20.37 (95% CI £18.94 to 24.83). This included the National Health Service cost per individual screening invitation £13.55 (95% CI £13.15 to 14.33) and average patient costs of £6.82 (95% CI £5.48 to 10.22). Administrative costs accounted for 50% of the overall cost.

Conclusions: The cost of proactive chlamydia screening is comparable to those of opportunistic screening. Results from this study, which is the first to collect private patient costs associated with a chlamydia screening programme, could be used to inform future policy recommendations and provide unique primary cost data for economic evaluations.

  • ClaSS, Chlamydia Screening Studies
  • NHS, National Health Service

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  • Published Online First 17 January 2007

  • Competing interests: None.

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