Background: Studies have demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of screening women for breast cancer; however, the cost-effectiveness of strategies to motivate women to receive breast cancer screening has been less well studied.
Methods: A total of 196 women, aged 50 to 74, who were enrolled in a public health hospital clinic, were noncompliant with mammography screening, and had at least one routine clinic appointment during the study period (15 months) were entered into a randomized, controlled trial of a motivational intervention to increase mammography rates. Costs were captured via a modified Delphi technique, accounting records, sampling of staff time logs, and an estimation of miscellaneous and overhead costs. Summary costs were calculated using Excel spread sheets.
Results: Overall, 49% of women who received the intervention had a mammogram within 8 weeks of an index visit compared with 22% of control women. Calculation of the cost-effectiveness of the project showed an additional cost of $151 (1996 U.S.$) for each woman receiving the intervention and $559 for each additional woman motivated to receive a mammogram.
Conclusions: Cost tracking and cost-effectiveness analysis can be done when intervening in a clinical setting, thereby allowing clinics to make informed decisions about implementing programs to increase motivation of their patients to receive screening.