Health Behavior & Communication

Incentives and communication strategies that influence behaviors affecting health. LDI Senior Fellows study financial and non-financial incentives that promote healthy behaviors, and how individuals and communities receive and exchange health information.

“Told”: the Word Most Correlated to Negative Online Hospital Reviews

Feb. 26, 2019

Anish K. Agarwal, Arthur P. Pelullo, Raina M. Merchant

Summary [from Penn Medicine News]

When analyzing reviews of hospitals on Yelp, Penn Medicine researchers found that the word most associated with negative reviews, including those rated at one-star, was “told,” which appeared in almost 20 percent of the posts. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the study points to the value patients and their...

Measles Outbreak Prompts States to Consider Stricter Immunization Laws

Feb. 13, 2019

With the ongoing measles outbreak in Washington, there has been increasing national attention to real-life consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccine hesitancy. Most of cases in this recent outbreak have been among unvaccinated individuals and children between the ages of 1 and 10 years. In the first month of 2019, the US has already seen 101 measles cases, on pace to exceed the 372 cases in 2018 and 120 cases in 2017.

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....

Experiences With Medical Exemptions After a Change in Vaccine Exemption Policy in California

Nov. 6, 2018

Salini MohantyAlison M. Buttenheim, Caroline M. Joyce, Amanda C. Howa, Daniel Salmon, Saad B. Omer

Abstract [from journal]

Video Abstract

Objectives: In 2015, California passed Senate Bill 227 (SB277), eliminating nonmedical vaccine exemptions for school entry. Our objective for this study was to describe the experiences of health officers and immunization staff addressing medical exemption requests under SB277.

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A Randomized Trial of Yoga for Stress and Substance Use among People Living With HIV in Reentry

Sep. 27, 2018

Alexandra S. Wimberly, Malitta Engstrom, Molly Layde, James R. McKay

Abstract [from journal]

Background: People in reentry from prison or jail (returning citizens) living with HIV and substance use problems often experience numerous stressors and are at high risk for resumed substance use. Interventions are needed to manage stress as a pathway to reduced substance use.

Objective: This study explored the effect of a hatha yoga intervention as compared to treatment as usual on stress and substance use among returning citizens living with HIV and substance use problems.

Methods:...

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