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Healthcare and patient costs of a proactive chlamydia screening programme: the Chlamydia Screening Studies project


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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