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Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2008;29(3):225-32.

Resource use and cost analysis of managing abnormal Pap smears: a retrospective study in five countries.

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Health Market International Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



To evaluate and compare treatment patterns and related resource use and costs in women with abnormal cervical smears in five countries.


Data from patient charts were collected for a minimum of 24 months, starting from the first recorded abnormal cervical smear. Costs, from the public health perspective, were calculated based on country-specific unit costs per procedure and expressed in euros.


A total of 3,380 patient charts were reviewed. Subjects with suspected or detectable cervical cancer were excluded from the analysis (n = 380). A significant age difference of 1.8-2.6 years was observed between the lowest and highest severity of cytological and histological types (p < 0.05). The correlation between cytology and histology results was weak overall (35.8%) and varied widely between countries (ranging from 48% for Australia to 29.7% for the UK). As expected, countries with an organised screening programme (UK, Australia) diagnosed and initiated treatment at earlier disease stages. These countries demonstrated a much lower and narrower cost band for more advanced histological types. In contrast, other countries (Germany, Italy, Spain) followed an opportunistic screening programme in which advanced disease was diagnosed and treated at much higher and more varied costs. Histological, not cytological, results were the main factor underlying the cost differences per type.


Costs and treatment patterns in women with abnormal cervical smears differ among countries due to the type of screening programme (organised versus opportunistic) and, consequently, the histological type. These results need to be taken into consideration when designing cost-effectiveness studies which include cervical cancer screening data.

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