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.

Patient Portal Usage and Outcomes Among Adult Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma

Andrea Apter, MD, MA, MSc
Oct. 23, 2019

Andrea J. Apter, Tyra Bryant-Stephens, Luzmercy Perez, Knashawn H. Morales, John T. Howell, Alyssa N. Mullen, Xiaoyan Han, Maryori Canales, Marisa Rogers, Heather Klusaritz, A. Russell Localio 

ABSTRACT [from journal]

Background: Patient-clinician communication, essential for favorable asthma outcomes, increasingly relies on information technology including the electronic heath record-based patient portal. For patients with chronic disease living in low-income neighborhoods, the benefits of portal communication remain unclear.

Objective: To describe portal activities and association with 12-month outcomes among low-income asthma patients formally trained in portal use.

Methods: In a...

Working Memory Development and Motor Vehicle Crashes in Young Drivers

Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD
Sep. 13, 2019

Elizabeth A. Walshe, Flaura K. Winston, Laura M. Betancourt, Atika Khurana, Kristin Arena, Daniel Romer

Abstract

Importance: Adolescent drivers have the highest rate of motor vehicle crashes, and among equally novice drivers, crash risk is inversely age graded. Working memory (WM), crucial to driving hazard awareness, is also age graded, with ongoing development into late adolescence. Variability in WM capacity and growth trajectory positions WM as a candidate crash risk factor for study, clinical screening, and possible preventative intervention.

Objective: To test the association between crashes and differential WM development...

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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Association of a Beverage Tax on Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages With Changes in Beverage Prices and Sales at Chain Retailers in a Large Urban Setting

May. 14, 2019

Christina A. Roberto, Hannah G. Lawman, Michael T. LeVasseur, Nandita Mitra, Ana Peterhans, Bradley Herring, Sara N. Bleich

Abstract [from journal]

Importance: Policy makers have implemented beverage taxes to generate revenue and reduce consumption of sweetened drinks. In January 2017, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became the second US city to implement a beverage excise tax (1.5 cents per ounce).

Objectives: To compare changes in beverage prices and sales following the implementation of the tax in Philadelphia compared with Baltimore, Maryland (a control city without a tax) and to assess potential cross-border shopping to avoid the tax in neighboring zip codes....

“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.

The Heterogeneous Effect of Affirmative Action on Performance

Feb. 1, 2019

Anat Bracha, Alma Cohen, Lynn Conell-Price

Abstract [form journal]

This paper experimentally investigates the effect of gender-based affirmative action (AA) on performance in the lab, focusing on a tournament environment. The tournament is based on GRE math questions commonly used in graduate school admission, and at which women are known to perform worse on average than men. We find heterogeneous effect of AA on female participants: AA lowers the performance of high-ability women and increases the performance of low-ability women. Our results are consistent with two possible mechanisms—

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