March 18, 2008 — Naturopathic care is more cost-effective than a standardized physiotherapy-education regimen in the treatment of chronic low-back pain and resulted in an improvement in health-related quality of life, lower costs, and reduced absenteeism, according to a workplace study in the March/April 2008 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
Naturopathic-care participants had reduced absenteeism and tended to reduce adjunctive care — resulting in savings in out-of-pocket costs of $1,096 per participant. The naturopathic-care group experienced a statistically significant (P=.006) increase in quality-of-life years over the study period. Furthermore, naturopathic care resulted in a net reduction of 6.7 absenteeism days.
Under the healthcare coverage limits set by the employer and assuming the employer paid the full cost of naturopathic care, the intervention cost $154 per absentee day avoided, compared to employer costs of lost productivity of $172 per day, and had a return on investment of 7.9 percent.
Source: Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, www.alternative-therapies.com/