OBJECTIVE: In three pilot regions of The Netherlands, all 16-29 year olds were invited to participate in three annual rounds of Chlamydia screening. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of repeated Chlamydia screening, based on empirical data.
METHODS: A mathematical model was employed to estimate the influence of repeated screening on prevalence and incidence of Chlamydial infection. A model simulating the natural history of Chlamydia was combined with cost and utility data to estimate the number of major outcomes and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with Chlamydia. Six screening scenarios (16-29 years annually; 16-24 years annually; women only; biennial screening; biennial screening women only; screening every five years) were compared with no screening in two sexual networks, representing both lower ('national network') and higher ('urban network') baseline prevalence. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for the different screening scenarios were estimated. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were performed.
RESULTS: In all scenarios and networks, cost per major outcome averted are above €5000. Cost per QALY are at least €50,000. The default scenario as piloted in the Netherlands was least cost-effective, with ICERs of €232,000 in the national and €145,000 in the urban sexual network. Results were robust in sensitivity analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: It is unlikely that repeated rounds of Chlamydia screening will be cost-effective. Only at high levels of willingness to pay for a QALY (>€50,000) screening may be more cost-effective than no screening.
- Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis
- Chlamydia trachomatis/isolation & purification
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Evidence-Based Medicine
- Mass Screening/economics
- Models, Theoretical
- Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data
- Pilot Projects