Behavioral Economics / Behavior Change

The application of principles of economics and psychology to examine how individuals make choices in complex contexts--such as personal finances and health--and to improve these decisions and behaviors.

Taxes and Front-of-Package Labels Improve the Healthiness of Beverage and Snack Purchases: A Randomized Experimental Marketplace

May. 30, 2019

Rachel B. Acton, Amanda C. Jones, Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Christina A. Roberto, David Hammond

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Sugar taxes and front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labelling systems are strategies to address diet-related non-communicable diseases. However, there is relatively little experimental data on how these strategies influence consumer behavior and how they may interact. This study examined the relative impact of different sugar taxes and FOP labelling systems on beverage and snack food purchases.

Methods: A total of 3584 Canadians 13 years and older participated in an experimental marketplace study using

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Rationale and Design of EMPOWER, a Pragmatic Randomized Trial of Automated Hovering in Patients With Congestive Heart Failure

Apr. 3, 2019

Shivan J. MehtaKevin G. VolppDavid A. Asch, Lee R. Goldberg, Louise B. Russell, Laurie A. Norton, Lauren G. Iannotte, Andrea B. Troxel

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Congestive heart failure is a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and cost. Disease management programs have shown promise but lack firm evidence of effectiveness and scalability. We describe the motivation, design, and planned analyses of EMPOWER (Electronic Monitoring of Patients Offers Ways to Enhance Recovery), a randomized clinical trial of an innovative intervention incorporating behavioral economic principles with remote monitoring technology embedded within a healthcare system.

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Payment, Lying, and Research Eligibility

Jan. 31, 2019

Payment for research participation can raise ethical concerns and legal issues. But it can also raise scientific problems if it causes participants to lie about their eligibility or other things, like adverse events.

Financial Incentives for Achieving and Maintaining Viral Suppression Among HIV-positive Adults in Uganda: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Jan. 17, 2019

Harsha Thirumurthy, Alex Ndyabakira, Kara Marson, Devy Emperador, Moses Kamya, Diane Havlir, Dalsone Kwarisiima, Gabriel Chamie

Summary [from journal]

Background: Viral suppression among HIV-positive individuals is essential for protecting health and preventing HIV transmission. Financial incentives have shown promise in modifying various health behaviours in low-income countries but few studies have assessed whether they can improve HIV treatment outcomes. We aimed to determine the impact of time-limited financial incentives on viral suppression among HIV-positive adults in rural Uganda.

Methods: We did a randomised controlled trial in four rural Ugandan parishes....

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