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BMJ Open 2: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001046
  • Health economics
    • Research

Are complementary therapies and integrative care cost-effective? A systematic review of economic evaluations

Table 2

Types of individual complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies studied for various conditions and in various populations: 2001–2010 (reported as the ratio of the total number of economic evaluations to the number of full economic evaluations)

Manipulative and body-based practices Acupuncture Natural products Other mind-body medicine Homeopathy CIM in general Other CIM therapies* Totals†
Back pain 28 : 19 11 : 10 2 : 2 1 : 1 3 : 0 2 : 2 42 : 29
Rheumatic disorders 9 : 5 6 : 4 6 : 6 2 : 2 1 : 0 4 : 3 27 : 19
Mixed populations 4 : 1 6 : 1 2 : 1 3 : 1 9 : 5 2 : 1 3 : 2 24 : 9
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes 1 : 0 8 : 6 6 : 4 1 : 1 3 : 1 18 : 12
Infection (various) 6 : 4 7 : 4 13 : 8
Surgery 1 : 1 2 : 2 4 : 3 5 : 4 12 : 10
Members of insurance plans 3 : 0 2 : 0 1 : 0 7 : 0 12 : 0
Mental disorders (various) 2 : 2 5 : 3 1 : 1 1 : 0 2 : 0 11 : 6
Older populations 6 : 3 2 : 0 3 : 1 11 : 4
Headaches 1 : 0 3 : 3 4 : 3 1 : 1 9 : 7
Children (various conditions) 1 : 0 6 : 4 1 : 0 1 : 0 9 : 4
Cancer 2 : 1 2 : 1 1 : 1 2 : 2 2 : 0 8 : 4
Pregnancy and women's health 5 : 5 1 : 0 1 : 0 7 : 5
Allergies 1 : 1 3 : 1 1 : 1 5 : 3
Other conditions‡ 1 : 1 1 : 1 3 : 3 5 : 4 2 : 1 2 : 0 6 : 2 19 : 11
Totals† 45 : 25 41 : 29 38 : 28 27 : 16 24 : 13 18 : 1 25 : 12 204 : 114
  • *Other CIM therapies included aromatherapy, healing touch, Tai Chi, Alexander technique, spa therapy, music therapy, electrodermal screening, clinical holistic medicine, naturopathic medicine, anthroposophic medicine, water-only fasting, Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, use of a corset and use of a traditional mental health practitioner.

  • †Totals across (down) columns will not add to numbers in the totals column (row) due to individual studies addressing more than one CIM therapy (patients in more than one group).

  • ‡Other conditions studied included patients with multiple chemical sensitivities, respiratory disease, pharyngeal dysphagia, dyspepsia, functional bowel disorders, other functional disorders, venous leg ulcers, major burns and constipation; patients who rated themselves as physically ill or having low quality of life; patients in home hospice or with home nursing; long-term care workers and prisoners.

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