Overtreatment and cost-effectiveness of the see-and-treat strategy for managing cervical precancer

Academic Article


  • Background: See-and-treat using loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) has been recommended as an alternative in managing high-grade cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions, but existing literature lacks evidence of the strategy's cost-effectiveness. We evaluated the overtreatment and costeffectiveness of the see-and-treat strategy compared with usual care. Methods: We modeled a hypothetical cohort of 40-year-old females who had not been screened for cervical cancer and followed them through their lifetimes using a Markov model. From a U.S. health-system perspective, the analysis was conducted in 2012 dollars and measured effectiveness in quality-adjusted life-years (QALY). We estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) using a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000/ QALY. The robustness of the see-and-treat strategy's cost-effectiveness and its overtreatment rates were further examined in various sensitivity analyses. Results: In the base-case, the see-and-treat strategy yielded an ICER of $70,774/QALY compared with usual care. For most scenarios in the deterministic sensitivity analysis, this strategy had ICERs larger than $50,000/QALY, and its cost-effectiveness was sensitive to the disutility of LEEP treatment and biopsydirected treatment adherence under usual care. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that the see-and-treat strategy had a 50.1% chance to be cost-effective. It had an average overtreatment rate of 7.1% and a 78.8% chance to have its overtreatment rate lower than the 10% threshold. Conclusion: The see-and-treat strategy induced an acceptable overtreatment rate. Its cost-effectiveness, compared with usual care, was indiscriminating at the chosen willingness-to-pay threshold but much improved when the threshold increased. Impact: The see-and-treat strategy was reasonable for particular settings, that is, those with low treatment adherence.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nghiem VT; Davies KR; Beck JR; Follen M; Cantor SB
  • Start Page

  • 807
  • End Page

  • 814
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 5