Source: JAMA Pediatrics, May 9, 2016
A JAMA viewpoint article authored by Alison Buttenheim and David Asch identifies several interventions that use behavioral economics to increase vaccine acceptance. These interventions recognize common biases as well as people’s tendency to respond to social cues and salient information.
In a recent Washington Post article, Alison Buttenheim sheds light on the disturbing trend of an increasing number parents opting out of vaccinating their children in California. She believes parents are spreading their ideas that vaccines are unsafe or ineffective through social networks and these social processes produce clusters of vaccine refusers. When like-minded parents are drawn to the same schools, it creates schools and communities where vaccine refusal is the norm.
CHIBE Faculty member Alison Buttenheim has received a grant from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development to investigate the vaccination status of children exempt from school-entry immunization mandates. Her research in vaccine hesitancy and refusal titled “Potential Effects of California’s New Vaccine Exemption Law on the Prevalence and Clustering of Exemptions" was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Alison Buttenheim describes the risks of intentionally unvaccinated children. The US has already seen outbreaks of long-controlled diseases because some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
A study conducted at Clark Park Farmers' Market by Alison Buttenheim collected SNAP (Food Stamp) payments through an easy electronic point-of-sale system. This easier method of payment increased fresh produce sales to SNAP recipients by 38 percent during the study; however, farmers' markets would not be able to break even on sales if they paid the costs associated with this system. Buttenheim hopes this study will "inform policymakers about the specific mechanisms driving SNAP redemptions and about the need for subsidies for wireless POS technology at farmers' markets."
Every two weeks or so, a group of Penn Medical students, including CHIBE Trainee Kenji Taylor, who is mentored by CHIBE faculty member and Roybal Investigator Alison Buttenheim, head out to barbershops frequented by African American men to perform simple, but potentially life-saving, health screenings.