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, 122, 393-412

The Cost-Effectiveness of Mind-Body Medicine Interventions

  • PMID: 10737073

The Cost-Effectiveness of Mind-Body Medicine Interventions

D S Sobel. Prog Brain Res.


Evidence is mounting that addressing the psychosocial needs of patients makes economic and health sense. If there were a drug or surgical procedure that could reduce ambulatory care visits, decrease postsurgical length of stay, reduce c-section rates, or decrease death rates from cancer, this medical intervention would be widely accepted and utilized with little hesitation. The beliefs and biases that delay and retard the use of psychosocial interventions need to be challenged (Engel, 1977; Williamson et al., 1991). This brief review of mind-body interventions suggests that health care providers can ill afford to treat patients simply as disordered machines whose health can be restored with physical or chemical interventions alone. Indeed, a burgeoning interest in alternative and complementary medicine with a focus on non-drug, non-surgical interventions as well as the exploding field of lay literature and self-help groups suggests that many patients are ready, willing, and even demanding that mind-body health techniques be considered as part of health care (Friedman et al., 1997). While the health care system cannot be expected to address all the psychosocial needs of people, clinical intervention can be brought into better alignment with the emerging evidence on the health and cost-effectiveness of mind-body interventions. Mind-body medicine is not something separate or peripheral to the main tasks of medical care but should be an integral part of evidence-based, cost-effective, quality health care.

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