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.

Economic evaluation of a behavioral intervention versus brief advice for substance use treatment in pregnant women: results from a randomized controlled trial

Jun. 22, 2017

Xiao Xu, Kimberly A. Yonkers, and Jennifer Prah Ruger

In BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Xiao Xu and colleagues, including Jennifer Ruger, assess the economic impact of motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (MET-CBT) among substance-using pregnant women. The study was performed alongside a clinical trial that compared the intervention to brief advice about the risks of substance use and found no significant differences in the outcomes such as drug and alcohol use. As such, the authors conducted a cost minimization analysis, from the perspective of the health system. They found that, while the intervention...

A comparative effectiveness education trial for lifestyle health behavior change in African-Americans

Jun. 20, 2017

Chanita Hughes Halbert, Scarlett Bellamy, Vanessa Briggs, Ernestine Delmoor, Joseph Purnell, Rodney Rogers, Benita Weathers, Jerry C. Johnson

In Health Education Research, Chanita Hughes Halbert and colleagues, including Jerry Johnson, compared the effects of an education trial about risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) within an African-American community. Participants were randomized to receive either integrated education about shared risk factors between cancer and CVD, or disease-specific education about CVD risk factors only. The authors assessed whether the type of education received affected fruit and vegetable intake or physical activity level. They find that when participants with less than...

Promising Themes for Antismoking Campaigns Targeting Youth and Young Adults

Jun. 20, 2017

Emily Brennan, Laura A. Gibson, Ani Kybert-Momjian, Jiaying Liu, Robert C. Hornik

In Tobacco Regulatory Science, Emily Brennan and colleagues, including Robert Hornik, assess the impact of various anti-smoking themes in campaigns targeting youth and young adults. The authors surveyed 13- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 25-year-olds for their responses to 20 different potential campaign themes. The themes were aimed at four behavioral targets: preventing smoking initiation among youth (defined as 13-17 year olds), preventing initiation among young adults (defined as 18-25 year olds), stopping progression to daily smoking among young adults, and encouraging cessation...

Effect of message congruency on attention and recall in pictorial health warning labels

Jun. 19, 2017

Kristen Lochbuehler, Melissa Mercincavage, Kathy Z. Tang, C Dana Tomlin, Joseph N. Cappella, Andrew A. Strasser

In Tobacco Control, Kristen Lochbuehler and colleagues, including Joseph Cappella, investigate the effect of pictorial health warning label congruency on smokers’ attention and recall of label content. Daily smokers were randomly assigned to view pictorial warning labels (PWLs) where the label’s image and text were either congruent or incongruent in their theme. Participants had their eye movements tracked, and were asked to recall the label content both immediately after exposure and five days later. The authors find that those who viewed PWLs of a congruent theme spent less time...

A Trial of Financial and Social Incentives to Increase Older Adults’ Walking

Jan. 20, 2017


Kristin A. Harkins, Jeffrey T. Kullgren, Scarlett L. Bellamy, Jason Karlawish, Karen Glanz
 

In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Kristin Harkins and colleagues, including LDI Senior Fellows Jason Karlawish and Karen Glanz, investigate the effects of financial incentives and donations to charity separately and combined on older adults’ uptake and retention of increased levels of walking. Despite evidence that regular physical activity confers health benefits, physical activity rates among older adults remain low. Both personal and social goals may enhance older adults’ motivation to become active. Ninety-four participants aged ≥65 years participated in this...

A randomized trial of lottery-based incentives and reminders to improve warfarin adherence: the Warfarin Incentives (WIN2) Trial

Nov. 20, 2016

Stephen E. Kimmel, Andrea B. Troxel, Benjamin French, George Loewenstein, Jalpa A. Doshi, Todd E. H. Hecht, Mitchell Laskin, Colleen M. Brensinger, Chris Meussner, Kevin Volpp

In Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, Stephen Kimmel and colleagues, including Jalpa Doshi, Benjamin French and Kevin Volpp, investigate the comparative effectiveness of reminders alone versus daily lottery incentives in improving medication adherence. This study was a four-arm multi-center...

Unused Opioid Pills: Can We Pay Patients to Clean Their Medicine Cabinets?

Oct. 17, 2016

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with another physician in the emergency department after finishing my shift. He had thrown a birthday party for his nine-year-old son Jake, who had recently recovered from a sports-related ankle fracture. “During the party, a parent pulled me aside and said he had recently injured his shoulder doing yard work,” my colleague said. “I assumed he wanted me to examine his shoulder or give him advice – but instead he explained that he didn’t have time to see his physician, and he asked whether we had any Vicodin left over from Jake’s surgery.

Rationale and design of a randomized trial of automated hovering for post myocardial infarction patients: The HeartStrong program

Sep. 22, 2016

Andrea B. Troxel, David A. Asch, Shivan J. Mehta, Laurie Norton, Devon Taylor, Tirza A. Calderon, Raymond Lim, Jingsan Zhu, Daniel M. Kolansky, Brian M. Drachman, Kevin G. Volpp

In the American Heart Journal, Andrea Troxel and colleagues, including Kevin Volpp, David Asch and Shivan Mehta, discuss the rationale and design of the HeartStrong program, a randomized controlled trial aimed at increasing medication adherence among patients with coronary artery disease. This trial features three main innovations: first, it uses behavioral economics concepts such as intermittent feedback, regret aversion and the entertainment value of a daily lottery; second, it automates procedures using new technology such as wireless pill bottles and remote feedback; and third...

Participation Rates With Opt-out Enrollment in a Remote Monitoring Intervention for Patients With Myocardial Infarction

Sep. 13, 2016

Shivan J. Mehta, Andrea B. Troxel, Noora Marcus, Christina Jameson, Devon Taylor,  David A. Asch, and Kevin G. Volpp

In JAMA Cardiology, Shivan Mehta and colleagues, including Andrea Troxel, David Asch and Kevin Volpp, evaluate whether an opt-out approach to enrollment, which has been shown to be effective in behavioral economics research, increases participation in a remote monitoring intervention among patients with myocardial infarction. This prospective cohort study compared enrollment rates in a remote monitoring intervention for medication adherence, using an opt-in vs an opt-out approach. Opt-in participants were recruited in the 60 days after discharge by sending a recruitment letter to...

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