Objectives: The aim of this study was to conduct a cost-effectiveness and return-on-investment analysis comparing a mindfulness-based worksite intervention to usual practice.
Methods: Two hundred fifty-seven governmental research institute employees were randomized to the intervention or control group. Intervention group participants received an eight-week mindfulness training, e-coaching, and supporting elements. Outcomes included work engagement, general vitality, job satisfaction, work ability, and costs. Cost-effectiveness analyses were conducted from the societal and employer's perspective, and a return-on-investment analysis from the employer's perspective.
Results: After 12 months, a significant but not clinically relevant adverse effect on work engagement was found (-0.19; 95% confidence interval: -0.38 to -0.01). There were no significant differences in job satisfaction, general vitality, work ability, and total costs. Probabilities of cost-effectiveness were low (≤0.25) and the intervention did not have a positive financial return to the employer.
Conclusion: The intervention was neither cost-saving nor cost-effective. Poor e-coaching compliance might partly explain this result.