Skip to main content

Table 5 Summary of the results of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) economic evaluations with exemplary study quality

From: Is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) cost-effective? a systematic review

  CAM Therapy Compared to Usual Care* Patient Population Form of Economic Evaluation Health Effects of CAM Compared to Usual Care† Cost of CAM Compared to Usual Care†
Liguori et al, 2000 [32] Acupuncture Patients with migraine CEA Better Lower‡
Wonderling et al, 2004 [35] Acupuncture Patients with chronic headache CUA Better Higher‡
Paterson et al, 2003 [34] Acupuncture Patients with dyspepsia CEA Similar Similar
  Homeopathy   CEA Similar Similar
Korthals-de Bos et al, 2003 [27] Manual therapy Patients with neck pain CEA CUA Better
Brefel-Courbon et al, 2003 [50] Spa therapy Patients with Parkinson's disease CEA Similar Lower
Van Tubergen et al, 2002 [51] Combined spa-exercise therapy Patients with ankylosing spondylitis CEA CUA Better
Tusek et al, 1999 [53] Complementary guided imagery Cardiac surgery patients CEA Better Lower
van Dixhoorn and Duivenvoorden, 1999 [54] Complementary relaxation therapy Patients with previous myocardial infarction CEA Better Lower
Jacobsen et al, 2002 [55] Complementary professionally-administered stress management training Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy CEA Similar Higher‡
  Complementary self-administered stress management training   CEA Better Lower‡
Franzosi et al, 2001 [25] Complementary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Patients with recent myocardial infarction CEA Better Higher
Smedley et al, 2004 [68] Complementary preoperative and post operative oral nutritional supplementation Patients undergoing lower gastrointestinal tract surgery CEA Better Similar
Norris et al, 2004 [56] Potassium-rich diet Postoperative cardiac patients CEA Similar Lower
Ryan and Gevirtz, 2004 [76] Biofeedback-based psychophysiological treatment Patients with "functional" disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome) CEA Better Lower
Larsen et al, 2002 [82] Complementary custom-made biomechanical shoe orthoses Recent military conscripts CEA Better Higher
  1. Bold entries indicate that the CAM therapy was shown to be clearly superior to (dominate) usual care.
  2. CEA = cost-effectiveness analysis; CUA = cost-utility analysis
  3. * The use of the term "complementary" in this column indicates CAM therapies used in addition to usual care.
  4. † If tests of statistical significance were performed, costs must be significantly higher or lower (and health effects significantly better or worse), or they were considered "similar."
  5. ‡ This study used both a societal and an institutional perspective, and the results were in the same direction.
  6. ¶This study used a societal perspective only. All other studies used an institutional perspective only.