Open Access Open Badges Research article

Patient side cost and its predictors for cervical cancer in Ethiopia: a cross sectional hospital based study

Alemayehu Hailu* and Damen Haile Mariam

Author Affiliations

School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, P.O.Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-69

Published: 8 February 2013



Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death from cancer among women in low-resource settings, affecting women at a time of life when they are critical to social and economic stability. In addition, the economic burden is important for policy formulation. The aim of this study is to estimate patient side cost and to determine predictors of its variation for the treatment of cervical cancer.


Analytic cross sectional study involving 227 cervical cancer cases at Tikur Anbessa Hospital, Ethiopia was conducted. Cost estimation was based on patients' perspective and using the prevalence-based model as a time frame. Productivity losses were estimated from lost working days.


The mean outpatient cost per patient for cervical cancer was $407.2 (Median = $206.9). Direct outpatient cost (Mean = $334.2) takes the largest share compared with the indirect counterpart ($150). The outpatient cost for half of the respondent falls in a range between $93.7 and $478. The mean inpatient cost for hospitalized patients was $404.4. The average direct inpatient cost was $329 (74% medical costs and 26% non medical costs). The mean value for total inpatient cost for half of the respondents was in the range of $133.5 and $493.9. For every additional day of inpatient hospital stay, there is a daily incremental inpatient cost of $4.2.


As has been found in other studies, our findings revealed that cervical cancer creates an immense financial burden on patients. Primary prevention measures, vaccination against HPV and screening, should be initiated and expanded to reduce morbidity from cervical cancer and subsequent costs in both human lives and money resources. Control of co-morbidity and complication should be emphasized during management of cervical cancer patients. Capacitating regional hospitals and provision of low cost or fee exemption schemes should be arranged and strengthened.

Cost of illness; Cervical cancer; Ethiopia; Human papilloma virus