CHIBE in the News

Scott Halpern Wins Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award

By In the News

Source:  AcademyHealth, June 13, 2011 Dr. Halpern, Deputy Director of CHIBE, was recognized at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting for demonstrating exceptional promise for future contributions to the field of health services research. Among other important contributions to the fields of health services research, epidemiology and medical ethics, Dr. Halpern’s research on default options in patient decision making has advanced the field of behavioral economics applied to health and health care.

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Converting Intention into Action: Prompting People to Write Down the Date and Time They Planned to Get a Flu Vaccine Increased Vaccination Rates

By In the News

Source: NIH Press Release, June 13 2011,  PNAS Article April 29, 2011 Katherine Milkman and colleagues analyzed the effects of 3 different flu vaccination reminder mailings sent to employees of a large firm. The overall vaccination rate among study participants in the control group, who received a mailed reminder about a free on-site vaccination clinic, was 33.1 percent. The rate among those who received the same reminder plus a prompt to record the date of the clinic increased by 1.5 percentage points relative to the control group. Those who received the reminder with a prompt to record the date and time had…

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Two Awards of Excellence Honor Judy Shea

By In the News

Source:  NBME Press Release, April 8, 2011, SGIM Press Release, May 18, 2011 Dr. Shea, who leads research process evaluation activities for CHIBE, received the 2011 SGIM Career Achievement in Medical Education Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and this year’s John P. Hubbard Award from the National Board of Medical Examiners for her work in advancing medical education and methodology of evaluation in medicine

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Well-designed Incentives Schemes Can Improve Health Behaviors, But Societal Gains in Health Will Require Additional Tools

By In the News

Source:  Scientific American, March 21, 2011 A state-of-the science article on using financial incentives to change health behaviors featured research and commentary by Kevin Volpp. The piece suggested that incentive programs will need to be tailored to address specific behaviors and went on to note that such programs alone will not be enough to tackle behaviors that are strongly influenced by environmental factors, such as overeating.

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Deposit Contracts Motivate Weight Loss; but Once They End, Weight Returns

By In the News

Source: Reuters, February 8, 2011 CHIBE researcher Leslie John was interviewed about a Journal of General Internal Medicine article describing a study she lead with co-investigators George Loewenstein, Andrea Troxel, Kevin Volpp and others that compared incentive-based weight loss interventions in obese U.S. veterans. According to John, “people respond more readily to the immediate threat of losing money compared to the distant threat of weight-related health problems.” More research is needed to see if weight loss can be sustained over a longer period of time and if the intervention can be implemented in the real world.

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Powerful Number Nine

By In the News

Source: Deadspin, January 31, 2011  Research by Uri Simonsohn and colleague Devon Pope on drastic reductions for used car prices based on mileage above 99,999, the behaviors of SAT-takers who get a score with a 90 (e.g., 990, 1090, 1190), and baseball players striving to hit .300 appeared on the sports website Deadspin, in an excerpt from the book Scorecasting by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim.

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Brain Chemistry, Financial Incentives, and Resolutions

By In the News

Source: Washington Post, January 4, 2011 A Washington Post article about doomed New Year’s resolutions outlined how dopamine pathways in the brain establish reward systems that make habits difficult to break. Rewards for actions are critical to establishing habits, suggesting that financial incentives might be a useful tool to change behaviors. Invited to comment, Kevin Volpp noted that environmental factors also play an important role in health behaviors. In citing his research among GE employees, which demonstrated that paying smokers to quit increased the number of successful quitters, and a similar project aimed at weight-loss that showed no difference between those who were paid and…

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Are Wellness Incentives Fair?

By In the News

Source:  Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2011 That was the question in a debate-style piece from the Los Angeles Times. According to Harold Schmidt, a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, incentive programs to improve health behaviors are a good idea but poor implementation could lead to inequities, particularly if the incentive program is structured in a way that does not allow everyone equal potential for success. On the other hand, CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp conceded that while more research into optimal implementation is needed, wellness incentives have been shown to help people quit smoking and he proposed that such programs can help to align…

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