Exploring the costs and outcomes of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions targeting men in football club settings: preliminary cost-consequence analysis of the SPORTSMART pilot randomised controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sebastian S Fuller
  • Lorna J Sutcliffe
  • John M Saunders
  • Andrew J Copas
  • Catherine H Mercer
  • Jackie A Cassell
  • Claudia S Estcourt


BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to compare the costs and outcomes of two sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions targeted at men in football club settings in England, including screening promoted by team captains.

METHODS: A comparison of costs and outcomes was undertaken alongside a pilot cluster randomised control trial involving three trial arms: (1) captain-led and poster STI screening promotion; (2) sexual health advisor-led and poster STI screening promotion and (3) poster-only STI screening promotion (control/comparator). For all study arms, resource use and cost data were collected prospectively.

RESULTS: There was considerable variation in uptake rates between clubs, but results were broadly comparable across study arms with 50% of men accepting the screening offer in the captain-led arm, 67% in the sexual health advisor-led arm and 61% in the poster-only control arm. The overall costs associated with the intervention arms were similar. The average cost per player tested was comparable, with the average cost per player tested for the captain-led promotion estimated to be £88.99 compared with £88.33 for the sexual health advisor-led promotion and £81.87 for the poster-only (control) arm.

CONCLUSIONS: Costs and outcomes were similar across intervention arms. The target sample size was not achieved, and we found a greater than anticipated variability between clubs in the acceptability of screening, which limited our ability to estimate acceptability for intervention arms. Further evidence is needed about the public health benefits associated with screening interventions in non-clinical settings so that their cost-effectiveness can be fully evaluated.

Bibliographic note

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-5
Number of pages6
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Adolescent, Adult, Athletes, Diagnostic Tests, Routine, England, Football, Health Care Costs, Health Services Research, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Young Adult