Cost-benefit analysis and mammographic screening: a travel cost approach

J Health Econ. 1998 Dec;17(6):767-87. doi: 10.1016/s0167-6296(98)00031-9.


This study describes the methodology and presents preliminary results of an economic appraisal of a program to use mobile mammographic screening units in rural areas of Australia. The benefits of the project are measured using the travel cost method. Since mammograms are a 'binary good', conventional welfare analysis must be modified and discrete choice models used to estimate the demand for screening. The results suggest that the level of welfare benefits depends on the distance a town is from the nearest fixed screening unit. In the 10 towns studied, the economic benefits of mobile screening outweighed the economic costs if a rural town is situated 29 km or more from a fixed mammographic screening unit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Humans
  • Mammography / economics*
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Health Units / economics*
  • Mobile Health Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Statistical
  • New South Wales
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rural Health Services / economics*
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Travel / economics*