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Outcome and Experience from the Swiss Mammography Screening Pilot Programmes
Title of the conference
International Breast Cancer Screening Network, Network Council Meeting 2002
Montpellier, France, May 30-31, 2002
BACKGROUND:The Swiss breast cancer screening pilot programme was conducted in 3 districts of theFrench-speaking canton of Vaud (ca. 300,000 resident women) between October 1993 and January 1999.Women aged 50 to 69 were invited by mail every 2 years for a free of charge screening mammography (doubleview, multiple reading). This first ever-organised cancer screening programme in Switzerland showed thefeasibility and acceptability of this kind of public health intervention in the liberal Swiss healthcare system, whichwas the main objective of the pilot programme. This mammographic screening programme was extended to thewhole canton in 1999, and contributed to the implementation of similar programmes in 2 neighbouring cantons. OBJECTIVE:To appraise the use, the quality and the effectiveness of the Swiss screening pilot programme. METHODS:About 15,000 women (aged 50-69) were enrolled. Logistic regression analyses were performedseparately to identify determinants of initial and subsequent attendance. Standard indicators of quality,effectiveness and impact of the programme were assessed and compared with European recommendations. Tothis intent, linkage with data from the Vaud Cancer Registry was performed. RESULTS:About half the target population was screened at least once during the pilot trial. Participation washigher among Swiss than foreigners, among widowed or married women than among single, divorced or separatedones. Attendance also increased with age and decreasing distance between residence and the dedicatedscreening centre. Apart from Swiss citizenship, socio-demographic factors were not associated with reattendance.Intensity of prior recruitment, outcome of previous screening test (positive vs. negative) and indicators of women'shealth behaviour (time of last mammography prior to initial screen, smoking status) were the main determinants ofreattendance. Programme performance and quality indicators were, overall, in line with European Guidelines. Theywere overall more favourable among 60-69 than 50-59 year-olds and improved over time. CONCLUSION:The objectives of the pilot programme were met. Even if participation should increase in order toreach European standards, performance indicators overall met quality requirements. Ways to improve screeninguse, quality and effectiveness were devised and taken into account for the generalisation of the programme.
Pilot programme, Switzerland, Performance indicators, Evaluation, Breast cancer, Mammographyscreening
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