Mud bath therapy is cost-effective for people with osteoarthritis

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mud bath therapy, mud therapy, knee pain, knee osteoarthritis, arthritis digest, arthritis magazineMud bath therapy seems to be cost-effective as a temporary, midterm complementary treatment for knee osteoarthritis, according to recent findings published in Arthritis Care & Research.

A total of 103 people aged 40 years to 80 years with knee osteoarthritis were split into groups: 53 were given usual care plus a 12-session cycle of mud-bath therapy and 50 people were given usual care alone. Mud bath therapy comprised 12 daily local mud-packs for two weeks.

People in the mud bath therapy group had improvements in scores of health related quality of life and reduced pain and anxiety. Those in the usual care group had higher average direct costs per patient largely due to hospitalisation for knee replacement operations and the use of intraarticular hyaluronic acid.

“This study reports on the cost-effectiveness of mud bath therapy in addition to usual care vs usual care alone based on economic evaluation performed alongside a randomized controlled trial,” the researchers conclude. “This cost-effectiveness analysis shows a favorable economic profile of a 12-session cycle of mud bath therapy in addition to usual care vs. usual care alone, with costs savings of about €672 per patient and 0.08 quality-adjusted life years gained over a 12-month follow-up period.”

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