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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Review on the medical and health economic evidence for an inclusion of colposcopy in primary screening programs for cervical cancer

Review published: 2007.

Bibliographic details: Nocon M, Mittendorf T, Roll S, Greiner W, Willich SN, von der Schulenburg JM.  Review on the medical and health economic evidence for an inclusion of colposcopy in primary screening programs for cervical cancer. GMS Health Technology Assessment 2007; 3: 7. [PMC free article: PMC3011337] [PubMed: 21289941]

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: With 3.2% of all cancer cases in 2002, cervical carcinoma is the tenth most common cancer in Germany and causes 1.8% of all cancer deaths in women in Germany. To date diagnosis in Germany solely has been based on cervical cytology which has been criticised due to its low sensitivity and consequently high rate of false negative results.

OBJECTIVES: How does colposcopy compare to cytological tests in terms of sensitivity and specificity, and what may be the effects of changes in screening for cervical carcinoma in Germany? Is there health economic evidence that may foster an inclusion of colposcopy into national screening programms?

METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed, including studies that compared colposcopy to cervical cytology in terms of sensitivity and specificity. In addition, a systematic review of the relevant health economic literature was performed to analyse cost-effectiveness issues relevant to the German setting.

RESULTS: A total of four studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, of which only two were of high methodologic quality. In all studies, the sensitivity of colposcopy was lower than that of cytology. In three studies the specificity of colposcopy was lower than that of cytology, in one study specificity of colposcopy and cytology was similar. No health economic data suggesting positive effects of adding colposcopy in primary screening could be identified.

DISCUSSION: Only few studies have compared the test criteria of colposcopy with those of cytology for screening in cervical cancer. In all studies, sensitivity of colposcopy was even lower than the sensitivity of cytology, which has been critisized because of its low sensitivity.

CONCLUSION: Based on the present data, an inclusion of colposcopy in primary cervical cancer screening programmes can not be recommended.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

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