Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carrots and sticks to promote a healthy lifestyle?

17.09.2008
New study assesses patients' opinion of paying people to quit smoking, lose weight or control their blood pressure and diabetes

When it comes to deciding whether paying people to make healthier lifestyle changes is a good thing, it seems patient opinion is split right down the middle.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, those who smoke and are overweight are its greatest advocates. This is the finding of a study1 by Judith Long and her colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to be published in the October issue of the Springer publication, Journal of General Internal Medicine.

In an effort to stem the tide of rising healthcare costs, 'Pay for Performance for Patients' (P4P4P) schemes have been gaining popularity in the US and worldwide. The theory goes that the modest payments to patients are more than made up for by long-term savings in healthcare costs if the payments result in lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking or maintaining a lower body weight. Much of the argument against them revolves around this very point - whether these payments actually do result in a change in behavior. Studies thus far have been mixed with some showing no improvement in care or outcome and others being relatively successful.

Long and colleagues conducted a survey of 515 patients in waiting rooms in primary care practices. In this first survey of patient opinion of P4P4P, they found the respondents were split almost 50/50 as to whether it was a good or bad idea. Overall, smokers and obese individuals thought that paying for lifestyle change was a good idea, that it would lower everyone's healthcare costs and that it may be the only effective way to bring about lifestyle change. The authors attribute this to their difficulties in the past trying to change the behavior in question whereas individuals without these problems have no idea of the difficulties involved and cannot therefore see the point of incentives.

In addition, the authors found the responses received to some questions were very much based on how the questions were worded. For example, when questioned about health insurance and P4P4P, all respondents were keen on incentives which rewarded individuals for good health behavior but not keen on those that were seen as punishments, e.g. they thought it was a good idea to give lower premiums to non-smokers but not to charge higher premiums to smokers in an effort to get them to stop smoking. In effect, this is one and the same thing but this finding has dramatic consequences for the planning of future initiatives.

This unique survey therefore has important implications for companies thinking about financial incentives for healthy behaviors as well as insurers and policy makers considering its widespread use. The authors conclude that 'given the prevalence of unhealthy behaviors in the US population, serious consideration needs to be given to any approach that may effectively motivate improvements in the rate of healthy behavior.' For the moment, further evidence of effectiveness and cost effectiveness is required as this may lead to wider support for these programs and their efficient targeting.

Joan Robinson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.springer.com

Further reports about: Diabetes P4P4P blood pressure lose weight non-smokers quit smoking

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>