Table 25Summary of RCTs reporting data on economic evaluation of CAM versus other treatments- Neck pain

Author, Year Country of StudyN (sample size) Region, Cause, Duration of PainIntervention/sOutcomes Duration of Outcome AssessmentConclusion (by study authors)
Willich, SN (2006)130,131

N = 3451
NP, N-S; Chronic
  • Acupuncture (Acu) + routine care
  • routine care
Direct and indirect cost (not including private medical expenses) The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of acu tx

3 months
The incremental costs-effectiveness ratio was $15.710 per QALY; the net benefit of acup was $1147.
Lewis, M (2005)89,92

N = 350
NP, N-S; Mixed
  • advice and exercise (A&E)+ manual tx (MT)
  • advice and exercise + pulsed shortwave diathermy (PSWD)
  • advice and exercise alone
Health care & societal costs
QALY utility scores

6 months
Probability of each intervention being cost-effective at the $48,000 per QALY threshold
Health care perspective-: MT = 0.37, PSWD = 0.31, and A&E = 0.32
Societal perspective- MT = 0.44, PSWD = 0.26, and A&E = 0.30

PWSD was the last cost effective of three tx strategies
Kothals de Bos (2005)63,64

the Netherlands
N = 183
NP; N-S; Mixed
  • Spinal mobilization (SM)
  • Physiotherapy (PT)
  • General practitioner care (GP)
Direct and indirect costs Cost effectiveness, and cost
utility ratios were evaluated

1 year
The total costs of MT were around one third of the costs of PT, or GP

MT was less costly and more effective than PT, or GP

RCT= randomized control trial; NP= neck pain; NS = non specific; Acu = acupuncture; TENS = transcutaneous electrical stimulation; tx = treatment; GP= general practitioner; PT= physical therapy; QALY= quality adjusted life years; MD=medical care; w/out=with or without; Pm=physical modalities; HRQoL=health related quality of life; NHS = National Healthcare Services; SS = statistically significant; UK= United Kingdom

From: 3, Results

Cover of Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain II
Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain II.
Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 194.
Furlan AD, Yazdi F, Tsertsvadze A, et al.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.