Individualized Naturopathic Care Reduces Presenteeism and Improves Cost-Savings for Employers, Study Shows
Adding naturopathic treatments to conventional care helps reduce cardiovascular disease, reduces presenteeism & improves cost-savings for employers
Friday, January 31, 2014
by: Catherine Kenwell, Director, CCNM Marketing and Communications


About CCNM

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is Canada's premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. CCNM offers a rigorous four-year, full-time naturopathic medicine program. The College educates, develops and trains naturopathic doctors through excellence in health education, clinical services and research that integrate mind, body and spirit. In Ontario, naturopathic doctors (NDs) are regulated health-care practitioners. Currently, the profession is transitioning to new regulation within the Regulated Health Professions Act. Visits to naturopathic doctors are typically half an hour or more in length, and involve standard medical diagnostic assessments as well as a range of therapies including lifestyle counselling, nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture/Asian medicine, homeopathic medicine, and hydrotherapy/massage.

Media contact: Catherine Kenwell
Phone: 416-498-1255 ext. 243
Adding naturopathic treatments to conventional care not only helps reduce cardiovascular disease among those at risk, but also reduces presenteeism and improves cost-savings for employers concludes a new study by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).

Cardiovascular disease is a costly, but preventable disease that can be influenced by modifiable lifestyle factors, dietary choices, and other treatments which are all part of naturopathic care.  To date, the value, or cost-effectiveness of naturopathic care has not been assessed with regards to cardiovascular disease prevention.

“Given the way health-care costs are rising, it is important to look not only at a treatment’s effectiveness and safety, but also at its economic implications,” says Patricia Herman, ND, PhD, and lead researcher on the economics study.

The results of this study, which will be published in the February issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, are a companion analysis of a one-year randomized controlled trial that evaluated the addition of individualized naturopathic care to enhanced usual care for those with elevated cardiovascular risk in a workplace setting.  That study, funded by the Joint Benefits Committee of the Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in April, 2013.

For the 246 higher-risk individuals in that study, the risk of a cardiovascular event over the next 10 years was reduced from 10.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent. This means that for every 100 workers treated with adjunctive naturopathic care, approximately three fewer would experience a significant and potentially deadly event such as a heart attack or stroke.

Costs were estimated using direct medical costs measured from medical claims and patient self-report and indirect (productivity) costs from sick leave and presenteeism data. Cost savings from adjunctive naturopathic care were found to be $1187 and $1138 per employee from an employer and societal perspective, respectively. These cost savings were in addition to the reductions seen in10-year cardiovascular disease and event risks.

“This study is a great example of how comprehensive whole person care can have a substantial impact on individuals’ lifestyle behaviors and health. Naturopathic care produced cardiovascular risk reductions that exceeded that of previously studied non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments,” adds Herman.  “Employers are always searching for employee benefits that are good for both the employer and the employee. Naturopathic care seems to offer a natural solution to both.”
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