Wellness programs are increasing in popularity as companies grow more determined to curb the soaring costs of providing health insurance for employees. To encourage healthy behaviors, firms are offering everything from free yoga classes to weight-loss support groups. While there have been some positive results from these programs, smoking cessation remains a particular challenge. A recent study by Dr. Kevin Volpp and Dr. Scott Halpern - Vitality Smoking shows significant promise and was discussed in this Knowledge @ Wharton podcast.
Combining financial incentives, personalized goal setting and wearable devices might be an effective way of encouraging heart disease patients to engage in more physical activity. During the 9 to 16-week period, patients in the intervention increased their steps by 1,368 more steps per day than patients in the control group. After financial incentives were stopped at 16 weeks, participants in the intervention still had an increase of 1,154 steps per day more than the control group over the ensuing eight weeks.
Given the urgency of the opioid epidemic, the latest round of connected health pilot programs run by CHIBE in conjunction with Penn’s Clinical and Translational Research Award (CTSA) – which is based at Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) – prioritized pilot projects focused on reducing harm from opioids. As Dr. Kevin Volpp noted, “If the ideas we test are sufficiently bold, some will likely be unsuccessful, but that’s okay if across projects we make progress.”
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association said the trackers — when paired with a little cold, hard cash — might just give people that push to start a regular exercise routine.
“Framing rewards as a loss — a technique from behavioral economics — led to a meaningful difference in behavior,” said Dr. Mitesh Patel, an assistant professor of medicine and health care management, and director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit. “During the six-month trial, the average patient in the intervention arm had step counts that totaled about 100 miles more than the average patient in control.”
This is the Active Reward study. “Framing rewards as a loss – a technique from behavioral economics – led to a meaningful difference in behavior,” said Dr. Mitesh Patel, an assistant professor of Medicine and Health Care Management, and director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit. “During the 6-month trial, the average patient in the intervention arm had step counts that totaled about 100 miles more than the average patient in control.”
This is the Vitality Smoking study. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at different strategies to quit smoking, and while it found that none of them work all that well, even in conjunction, a multi-faceted approach works best. The study found that offering a reward of $600 to quit for six months increased success rates two-fold, or three-fold in some sub-groups.
This is the Vitality Smoking study. E-cigarettes aren’t just hipster-y and cloying—they also may not actually help people quit smoking. That’s according to a new study that found that e-cigarettes weren’t any better than other methods of smoking cessation, and the only thing that really works is paying people to quit.
Summary of NEJM article re smoking cessation. The new Penn study enrolled more than 6,000 people from 54 U.S.-based companies. Offering free pharmacological therapy or ecigs did not increase tobacco cessation; financial incentives tripled rates of cessation. Study was run on Way To Health
In a large study of company wellness programs (The Vitality Smoking Cessation Program run on Way To Health) released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, e-cigarettes worked no better than traditional stop-smoking tools, and the only thing that really helped was paying folks to kick the habit.
David Asch, MD gave a keynote address at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress (OARSI) about how understanding the incentives that drive human behavior may be useful in helping patients with osteoarthritis improve health-related habits. “Once you accept that people are irrational, it gives you better opportunities to help them”.