Read our CHIBE Q&A with Maeve Moran, MSc, a clinical research coordinator who works with the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics.
What are you working on right now?
I currently support two CHIBE projects, both within Dr. Kevin Volpp’s Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Initiative. The first, led by Dr. Volpp and Dr. Alexander Fanaroff, is a multisite study that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention involving behavioral economics approaches – namely gamification and social support – to augment physical activity in Black and Hispanic breast and prostate cancer survivors. The second, led by Dr. Volpp and Dr. Daniel Rader, involves the application of a machine learning tool to identify individuals at high risk of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), or inherited high cholesterol, via electronic medical records. Currently, up to 90% of FH cases remain undiagnosed. This project aims to change that by developing interventions – rooted in implementation science and behavioral economics – to address the myriad barriers to effective screening, diagnosis, and treatment of FH at the patient, clinician, and health system levels.
What are some of your personal research interests?
My personal research interests center around geriatric health, with a particular focus on long-term care and the socioeconomic determinants of healthy aging. My Master’s research explored how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to both physical and mental health within geriatric populations. This work culminated in my Master’s dissertation, a mixed-methods project exploring how differing COVID-19 response measures impacted the physical activity behaviors – and by proxy, mental health outcomes – of older adults in the United States and Scotland. More broadly, I enjoy learning about behavioral health incentives and the effects of policy reforms on health and aging.
How does your master’s in health psychology inform your work?
Health psychology and this group’s work in health incentivization and behavioral economics really go hand-in-hand; within my Master’s program, I studied theories of behavior change and the ways in which they may be applied to improve both the health of individuals as well as the broader functioning of health systems. It is incredibly exciting to see these psychological theories in action in trials here at CHIBE!