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Modelling the impact of referral guideline changes for mild dyskaryosis on colposcopy services in England

By S. Eggington, R. Hadwin, A. Brennan and P. Walker


Objectives: This model examines the effects of changing referral strategies within the established structure of NHS cervical screening driven colposcopy practice. It considers the effects of the new strategy on colposcopy workload, patient waiting times, and associated costs and health benefits.\ud \ud Methods: By postal survey, the current operational strategies of colposcopy services were established by questionnaire with respect to referral practices and management protocols. After first-cut piloting, and utilising published and original research, a Markovian model was constructed, and the impact of the new strategy was determined on colposcopy workload and patient waiting times for three hypothetical clinic types. Expected costs and benefits of the new policy were assessed through the adaptation of a previous ScHARR cervical screening model.\ud \ud Results: Clinic workload is expected to increase by between 21% and 35% within three years of the policy change, depending on clinic efficiency in other areas; the majority of this impact would be seen within the first year. It is predicted that particularly inefficient clinics would struggle to meet the existing waiting time requirements for women referred with low-grade disease, owing to the increased level of workload seen throughout the patient pathway as a result of the implementation of the new policy.\ud \ud The impact of the new policy can, however, be mitigated through improving the efficiency of existing clinics, by altering policies relating to surveillance of low grade disease, post-treatment follow-up, treatment policy (whether or not treatment is performed at the initial colposcopy visit), and through adherence to national guidelines.\ud \ud A cost-effectiveness analysis using the ScHARR liquid-based cytology model suggests that the policy change is likely to be have a cost per quality-adjusted lifeyear gained of between £1,400 and £5,500 per quality-adjusted life-year gained (excluding the costs of follow-up), which would be deemed acceptable to organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:10922

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