Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2018, The Author(s). Background: Regular outpatient follow-up programmes are usually offered to patients following treatment for gynaecological and other cancers. Despite the substantial resources involved in providing these programmes, there is evidence that routine follow-up programmes do not affect survival or the likelihood of detecting recurrence and may not meet patient needs. Alternative follow-up modalities may offer the same outcomes at lower cost. We examined the costs of using telephone-based routine follow-up of women treated for endometrial cancer undertaken by specialist gynaecology oncology nurses in comparison to routine hospital-based follow-up. Methods: The ENDCAT trial randomised 259 women at five centres in the north west of England with a known diagnosis of Stage I endometrial cancer who had completed primary treatment on a 1:1 basis to receive either standard hospital outpatient follow-up or a telephone follow-up intervention administered by specialist nurses. A cost-consequence analysis was undertaken in which we compared costs to the health system and to individuals with the trial’s co-primary outcomes of psychological morbidity and participant satisfaction with information received. Results: Psychological morbidity, psychosocial needs, patient satisfaction and quality of life did not differ between arms. Patients randomised to telephone follow-up underwent more and longer consultations. There was no difference in total health service mean per patient costs at 6 months (mean difference £8, 95% percentile confidence interval: − £147 to £141) or 12 months (mean difference: − £77, 95% percentile confidence interval: − £334 to £154). Estimated return journey costs per patient for hospital consultations were £11.47. Productivity costs were approximately twice as high under hospital follow-up. Conclusion: Telephone follow-up was estimated to be cost-neutral for the NHS and may free up clinic time for other patients. There was some evidence that telephone follow-up may be more efficient for patients and wider society, and is not associated with additional psychological morbidity, lower patient satisfaction or reduced quality of life. Trial Registration: ISRCTN: 75220876, prospectively registered 28 October 2011.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Health Economics and Health Policy

Publication Date





415 - 427