PCN94 - Cost-effectiveness and preference for follow-up scenarios following breast cancer

T.S. Sibma, J. Klaase, Sabine Siesling, Elias W. Hans, J. Marjan Hummel, Maarten Joost IJzerman

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OBJECTIVES: About one in every eight women in The Netherlands develops breast cancer. Every year, 11,000 new cases are registered and about 3500 women die of breast cancer. Prognosis after primary treatment for patients with breast cancer is improving. This leads to an increased number of patients in follow-up, which leads to increased workload. One of the main goals of follow-up is to improve the survival of patients. This study aims to determine a more individualized follow-up by modelling costeffectiveness of various follow-up scenarios and by determining individual preferences by using a discrete choice experiment (DCE). METHODS: A discrete-event state-transition model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of all scenarios for all patient groups. In addition, a discrete choice experiment (DCE) was designed to establish patient preferences. The DCE incorporated three process attributes (duration of follow-up, frequency and type of consult) and data were collected in a sample of 125 breast cancer patients. Patients had to complete all 18 choice sets that were generated from the three attributes. RESULTS: The modelling study revealed recommendations for follow-up in different age categories. Patients younger than 40 and patients with unfavorable tumor characteristics (>3 lymph nodes, tumor size >2 cm) can benefit from a more intensive follow-up of five or possibly ten years. Patients older than 40 but younger than 70 years old sometimes benefit from a more intensive follow-up; e.g. when younger than 50 and tumor size >2 cm. The DCE, however, showed that patients chose maximum levels of follow-up independent from age and their individual clinical risk profile. Duration of follow-up and type of consult (either hospital visit or telephone) weighted approximately 0.43 and 0.50 respectively. The frequency of follow-up (either once or twice a year) was least important (0.07). CONCLUSIONS: The model showed that follow-up may be individualized according to risk profile and age. However, patients preferred long and intensive follow-up strategies after breast cancer treatment. Taking into account individual patient preferences it may be recommended to reduce the frequency of follow-up to once a year. The service delivery by nurse practioners is well appreciated and another means for improving cost-effective follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-490
Number of pages2
JournalValue in health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • IR-89610
  • METIS-257692


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