Supplementary Material for: Bioenergy Treatment for Improving Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis
datasetposted on 2023-03-14, 13:31 authored by Walach H., Marmann P.
Background: Bioenergy treatment devices for self-treatment with the aim to improve well-being are widely available, have become popular, and are used by a rather large number of persons. Yet, a systematic analysis of the assumed effect of these devices has not yet been conducted. We meta-analyzed eight very similar studies of the Healy device to assess the joint effect size. Method: Eight studies with similar designs, some active controlled and some wait-list controlled, testing the Healy bioenergy device, were meta-analyzed. They were conducted by the producer of the device for quality assurance and further development of the application. An additional literature search revealed no additional, independent studies. Result: The overall effect size across studies, combining all active arms and averaging outcome measures, is Hedge’s g = 0.757 (random effects model, I2 = 85.8; z = 6.57; p < 0.0001). The stronger active intervention against control yields a heterogeneous g = 0.825 (random effects, I2 = 82.5; z = 7.77; p < 0.0001). Active treatments against each other result in a significant g = 0.29 (fixed effects, I2 = 0.0; z = 8.34; p < 0.0001). Discussion: The highest effect sizes are produced by a measure of coherence, followed by the WHO5 well-being questionnaire, the Perceived Stress Scale, with the Measure Your Own Medical Outcome Profile, resulting in the smallest effect size. Heterogeneity can be partially explained by the type of control, with active control producing smaller and wait-list control producing larger outcomes. Another source of heterogeneity is the sequencing of studies. Effect sizes grew for three studies, which were similar, and then fell and remained very similar for the rest of the studies. A limitation of this analysis is the fact that all studies were conducted by the R and D Department of the producer of the device. Conclusion: In this meta-analysis, the Healy device showed considerable effects, improving general well-being in healthy individuals. Nonetheless, an independent confirmation of these findings would be desirable. Moreover, the potential mechanisms of effect of the bioenergy device remain unclear, and further studies addressing this research question are warranted.