Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness and Return-on-Investment of a Mindfulness-Based Worksite Intervention: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

J Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jun;58(6):550-60. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000736.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Netherlands
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Workplace*