Background: It has often been hypothesized that the frequency of follow-up visits for patients with early-stage endometrial cancer could be decreased. However, studies evaluating effects of a reduced follow-up schedule among this patient group are lacking. The aim of this study is to assess patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness of a less frequent follow-up schedule compared to the schedule according to the Dutch guideline.
Methods: In this multicenter randomized controlled trial, patients diagnosed in the Netherlands with stage 1A and 1B low-risk endometrial cancer, for whom adjuvant radiotherapy is not indicated (n = 282), are randomized. Patients allocated to the intervention group receive four follow-up visits during three years. Patients allocated to the control group receive 10-13 follow-up visits during five years, according to the Dutch guideline. Patients are asked to fill out a questionnaire at baseline and after 6, 12, 36, and 60 months. Primary outcomes include patient satisfaction with follow-up care and cost-effectiveness. Secondary outcomes include healthcare use, adherence to schedule, health-related quality of life, fear of recurrence, anxiety and depression, information provision, recurrence, and survival. Linear regression analyses will be used to assess differences in patient satisfaction with follow-up care between intervention and control group.
Discussion: We anticipate that patients in the intervention arm have a similar satisfaction with follow-up care and overall outcomes, but lower healthcare use and costs than patients in the control arm. No differences are expected in quality-adjusted life-years and satisfaction, but the reduced schedule is expected to be cost-saving when implemented in the Netherlands.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02413606 . Registered on 10 April 2015.
Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Endometrial cancer; Follow-up care; Patient-initiated; Patient-reported outcomes; Randomized controlled trial; Reduced follow-up; Satisfaction with care.