Table 5

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

CAM Therapy Compared to Usual Care*Patient PopulationForm of Economic EvaluationHealth Effects of CAM Compared to Usual Care†Cost of CAM Compared to Usual Care†
Liguori et al, 2000 [32]AcupuncturePatients with migraineCEABetterLower‡
Wonderling et al, 2004 [35]AcupuncturePatients with chronic headacheCUABetterHigher‡
Paterson et al, 2003 [34]AcupuncturePatients with dyspepsiaCEASimilarSimilar
Korthals-de Bos et al, 2003 [27]Manual therapyPatients with neck painCEA CUABetter
Brefel-Courbon et al, 2003 [50]Spa therapyPatients with Parkinson's diseaseCEASimilarLower
Van Tubergen et al, 2002 [51]Combined spa-exercise therapyPatients with ankylosing spondylitisCEA CUABetter
Tusek et al, 1999 [53]Complementary guided imageryCardiac surgery patientsCEABetterLower
van Dixhoorn and Duivenvoorden, 1999 [54]Complementary relaxation therapyPatients with previous myocardial infarctionCEABetterLower
Jacobsen et al, 2002 [55]Complementary professionally-administered stress management trainingCancer patients undergoing chemotherapyCEASimilarHigher‡
Complementary self-administered stress management trainingCEABetterLower‡
Franzosi et al, 2001 [25]Complementary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acidsPatients with recent myocardial infarctionCEABetterHigher
Smedley et al, 2004 [68]Complementary preoperative and post operative oral nutritional supplementationPatients undergoing lower gastrointestinal tract surgeryCEABetterSimilar
Norris et al, 2004 [56]Potassium-rich dietPostoperative cardiac patientsCEASimilarLower
Ryan and Gevirtz, 2004 [76]Biofeedback-based psychophysiological treatmentPatients with "functional" disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome)CEABetterLower
Larsen et al, 2002 [82]Complementary custom-made biomechanical shoe orthosesRecent military conscriptsCEABetterHigher

Bold entries indicate that the CAM therapy was shown to be clearly superior to (dominate) usual care.

CEA = cost-effectiveness analysis; CUA = cost-utility analysis

* The use of the term "complementary" in this column indicates CAM therapies used in addition to usual care.

† 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."

‡ This study used both a societal and an institutional perspective, and the results were in the same direction.

¶This study used a societal perspective only. All other studies used an institutional perspective only.

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