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Open Access Cost-effectiveness of early interventions for non-specific low back pain: A randomized controlled study investigating medical yoga, exercise therapy and self-care advice

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Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of medical yoga as an early intervention compared with evidence-based exercise therapy and self-care advice for non-specific low back pain.

Design: Randomized controlled trial with a cost-effectiveness analysis.

Subjects: A total of 159 participants randomized into the medical yoga group (n = 52), the exercise therapy group (n = 52) and the self-care advice group (n = 55).

Methods: The health outcome measure EQ-5D was applied to measure quality of life data combined with cost data collected from treatment groups from baseline to 12 months follow-up. Outcome measure was health-related quality of life (HRQL). Incremental cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) was also calculated. Cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted primarily from the societal and employer perspectives.

Results: Medical yoga is cost-effective compared with self- care advice if an employer considers the significant improvement in the HRQL of an employee with low back pain justifies the additional cost of treatment (i.e. in this study EUR 150). From a societal perspective, medical yoga is a cost-effective treatment compared with exercise therapy and self-care advice if an additional QALY is worth EUR 11,500. Sensitivity analysis suggests that medical yoga is more cost-effective than its alternatives. Conclusion: Six weeks of uninterrupted medical yoga therapy is a cost-effective early intervention for non-specific low back pain, when treatment recommendations are adhered to.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

    Since the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is an Open Access journal, the contents will no longer be provided via Ingenta Connect after December 31, 2020. To continue accessing the journal free of charge please go to
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