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.

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....

Using Behavioral Economics to Encourage Parent Behavior Change: Opportunities to Improve Clinical Effectiveness

Sep. 10, 2018

ABSTRACT [FROM JOURNAL]

Pediatric clinical practice often involves improving child health by changing parents' behavior. Strategies from behavioral economics - a field that leverages predictable patterns in human decision-making to overcome barriers to behavior change - can improve health outcomes in adults. Though more research is needed, the application of these approaches to parent behavior change in pediatric settings has the potential to improve the clinical effectiveness of child healthcare. We review the foundational concepts of behavioral economics and identify the unique...

Effect of a Behavioral Intervention on Perpetrating and Experiencing Forced Sex Among South African Adolescents: A Secondary Analysis of a Cluster Randomized Trial

Aug. 17, 2018

John Barton Jemmott III, Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Ann O’Leary, Zolani Philemon Ngwane, Anne Marie Teitelman, Monde Blessing Makiwane, Scarlett L. Bellamy

Abstract [from journal]

Importance: Scant research has investigated interventions to reduce forced sexual intercourse among adolescents. The need for such interventions is especially great in South Africa, which has some of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

Objectives: To determine whether an HIV/sexually transmitted disease risk-reduction intervention that reduced sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted disease prevalence also reduced the perpetration and experience of forced sex among...

Novel Smartphone-Based Measures of Cell Phone Use While Driving in a Sample of Newly Licensed Adolescent Drivers

Jul. 26, 2018

Catherine C. McDonald, Kristen Ward, Yanlan Huang, Douglas J. Wiebe...

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of adolescent death. Cell phone use while driving is a contributor to adolescent motor vehicle crash risk. Objective and directly observable measures of cell phone use while driving are needed to implement interventions aimed at reducing cell phone–related crash risk. 

Aims: To describe novel smartphone-based measures of cell phone use while driving in a sample of newly licensed male and female adolescent drivers. 

Methods: Newly licensed...

Effect of Greening Vacant Land on Mental Health of Community-Dwelling Adults: A Cluster Randomized Trial

Jul. 25, 2018

Eugenia C. South, Bernadette C. Hohl, Michelle C. Kondo, John M. MacDonaldCharles C. Branas

ABSTRACT [FROM JOURNAL]

Importance: Neighborhood physical conditions have been associated with mental illness and may partially explain persistent socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence of poor mental health.

Objective: To evaluate whether interventions to green vacant urban land can improve self-reported mental health.

Design, Setting, and Participants:This citywide cluster randomized trial examined 442 community-dwelling sampled adults living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, within 110 vacant lot clusters...

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