Author Affiliation: Dr Mark is Contributing Editor, JAMA.
This issue of THE JOURNAL includes 2 cost-effectiveness analyses that
compare cervical screening strategies.1,2
To many readers, these types of studies are both confusing and complex. In
addition, because the results are based on mathematically modeled outcomes
rather than "real" outcome data, some may not really trust the results. However,
THE JOURNAL publishes these types of studies when they are of high quality
according to the standards of the discipline and when they concern important
health care questions that are difficult to address using other methods. In
the case of cervical cancer screening, it is unlikely that clinical trials
will be performed that could adequately compare all the possible variations
of screening and treatment and follow-up cohorts of patients over their lifetimes
to assess mortality and quality-of-life outcomes.
Mark DH. Visualizing Cost-effectiveness Analysis. JAMA. 2002;287(18):2428-2429. doi:10.1001/jama.287.18.2428