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.

Association between Electronic Medical Record Implementation of Default Opioid Prescription Quantities and Prescribing Behavior in Two Emergency Departments

Research Brief
Kit Delgado, MD, MS
Jan. 30, 2018

Setting a low quantity of opioid tablets as the default option in electronic medical record prescribing orders may “nudge” clinicians to prescribe fewer opioids. When two emergency departments implemented a 10-tablet default instead of a manual entry, the proportion of 10-tablet prescriptions written more than doubled, from 20.6% to 43.3%. Conversely, 20-tablet prescriptions decreased from 22.8% to 16.1%, and prescriptions for 11-19 tablets decreased from 33.5% to 20.1%. 

Are mHealth Interventions to Improve Child Restraint System Installation of Value? A Mixed Methods Study of Parents

Dec. 6, 2017

Linda Fleisher, Danielle Erkoboni, Katherine Halkyard, Emily Sykes, Marisol S. Norris, Lorrie Walker, and ...

In the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Linda Fleisher and colleagues, including Danielle Erkoboni and Flaura Winston, identify gaps in parental knowledge about and perceived challenges in the use of appropriate child restraints in motor vehicles. They also explore the acceptability of using a mobile app to guide car seat installation. Injuries to passengers in motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of child mortality. As such, the delivery of information about proper child restrain systems (CRS) use...

Using Wearable Devices and Smartphones to Track Physical Activity: Initial Activation, Sustained Use, and Step Counts Across Sociodemographic Characteristics in a National Sample

Dec. 3, 2017

Mitesh S. Patel, Luca Foschini, Gregory W. Kurtzman, Jingsan Zhu, Wenli Wang, Charles A.L. Rareshide, Susan M. Zbikowski

In Annals of Internal Medicine, Mitesh Patel and colleagues describe rates of initial use of activity trackers, sustained use after 6 months, and step counts across different sociodemographic characteristics from a wellness program offered across the United States. Many large employers are using data collected from wearable devices and smartphones in workplace wellness programs; however, the characteristics of persons who use these devices are poorly understood.

Mean daily step count and sociodemographic characteristics between 2014 and 2015 were obtained from Humana for...

The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Smoking Cessation on Alcohol Consumption

Dec. 1, 2017

In the International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Benjamin Ukert examines short- and long-term effects of quitting smoking on alcohol consumption. Most interventions have focused on reducing either cigarette or alcohol consumption to address the severe health and economic consequences of both risky behaviors, while ignoring how they interact.

To estimate the relationship between smoking and alcohol consumption, the author utilizes data from the Lung Health Study (LHS), a randomized smoking...

The First Digital Pill: Innovation or Invasion?

Nov. 20, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first digital pill that tracks if patients have taken their medication. Our experts weighed in on the potential benefits of the new technology, as well as the potential for abuse.

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Effect of a Game-Based Intervention Designed to Enhance Social Incentives to Increase Physical Activity Among Families: The BE FIT Randomized Clinical Trial

Nov. 8, 2017

Mitesh S. Patel, Emelia J. Benjamin, Kevin G. Volpp, Caroline S. Fox, ...

In JAMA Internal Medicine, Mitesh Patel and colleagues, including Kevin Volpp and Dylan Small, tested the effectiveness of a gamification intervention designed using insights from behavioral economics to increase physical activity. The researchers piloted the Behavioral Economics Framingham Incentive Trial (BE FIT), a randomized clinical trial with a 12-week intervention period and a 12-week follow-up period, among 200 adults (comprising 94 families) enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study.

All participants received daily feedback on whether or not they had achieved their...

Research and Shiny Objects: Tips to Gain Media Attention

Nov. 2, 2017

A study doesn’t end with publishing its findings— for its impact to be fully realized, the findings must be disseminated. Even when research is adequately publicized, excessive jargon can prevent lay readers from understanding what it means. Since the clarity of scientific abstracts is declining over time, academics must go beyond publication to make their work accessible. One way to surmount the information barriers is to collaborate with journalists, who can help translate our research into action.

Community Health Worker Support For Disadvantaged Patients With Multiple Chronic Diseases: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Research Brief
Aug. 21, 2017

Community health worker interventions hold promise for improving outcomes of low-income patients with multiple chronic diseases.

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