Cost effectiveness of biofeedback and behavioral medicine treatments: a review of the literature

Biofeedback Self Regul. 1987 Jun;12(2):71-92. doi: 10.1007/BF01000010.


This paper reviews multicomponent behavioral medicine studies that contain cost-effectiveness and or cost-benefit data relevant to the field of biofeedback and relaxation training, primarily when assisted by biofeedback, with or without stress management, in the treatment of psychosomatic illness and pain. A model for evaluating biofeedback treatment is presented. Cost-effectiveness data concerning reduction in physician visits and/or medication use, decrease in medical care costs to patients, reduction in hospital stays and rehospitalization, reduction of mortality, and enhanced quality of life are reviewed. Evidence suggests that multicomponent behavioral medicine treatments are cost-effective on all dimensions reviewed. Cost/benefit ratios range between 1:2 and 1:5, with a median of 1:4. Evidence that could increase the cost effectiveness of biofeedback is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Therapy / economics