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23 January 2017, 19:01
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Study: Small incentives improve patient’s adherence

Study: Small incentives improve patient’s adherence - picture 1

Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains one of the crucial factors to the successful treatment of HIV infection. According to research published in the online edition of AIDS, the provision of regular low-value economic incentives can help to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The research was conducted in Kampala, Uganda and designed as a randomized study involving 144 ART-experienced adults (minimum two years of therapy) who had documented adherence problems. Two intervention groups received prizes such as coffee mugs, umbrellas or water bottles if they attended doctor appointments or took at least 90% of the ART drugs.

“In this study we present evidence that it is feasible and effective to use small behavioral economics incentives to increase ART adherence. Our study suggests that designing incentives based on behavioral economic insights can increase their effectiveness, and get beyond the often at best mixed results of recent interventions aimed at behavioral change in the HIV field based on traditional, fixed incentives of relatively large monetary value,” the investigators said.

Longer follow-up of the intervention is now planned.

Author: Lilia Ten

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