6014.0: Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #10940

Effectiveness of incentives in health interventions: what do we know from the literature?

Jennifer Lorvick, BA and Brian R. Edlin, MD. Urban Health Study, University of California, San Francisco, Box 1304, San Francisco, CA 94143-1304, (415) 476-4199, jbo@itsa.ucsf.edu

Objective: To examine the effectiveness, advantages and disadvantages of using incentives to encourage participation and adherence in health interventions among low-income populations.

Methods: Review of literature regarding the impact of incentives in health interventions which target marginalized populations such as drug users, the homeless and pregnant teenagers. In addition to the presentation, a bibliography will be generated for session attendees.

Preliminary Results: Incentives generally improve participation, appointment attendance and adherence. Factors which influence the effectiveness of incentives include monetary value, type of incentive (e.g., cash, vouchers, gifts) and relevance to the needs of the group being targeted. Incentives do not override other instrumental conditions of participation, such as accessibility of service locations and convenient appointment times. Advantages of using incentives include higher participation and adherence rates, fewer missed appointments and, compared to some public health strategies, greater cost-effectiveness. Disadvantages include expense, the feasibility of administering incentives in clinical settings, and potentially undue influence on patients' health-related decision-making.

Discussion: Incentives are an important tool to promote participation and adherence in health interventions. Important lessons may be drawn from the research regarding appropriate and useful implementation of incentives with low-income populations.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will evaluate the effectiveness of incentives as demonstrated in the literature. 2. Participants will be able to list three advantage and three disadvantages of using incentives. 3. Participants will assess the relative effectiveness of different types of incentives

Keywords: Interventions, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA