Behavioral economics, which integrates ideas and research insights from psychology and economics, has made great strides in understanding the interplay of economic and psychological factors in human motivation and behavior. However, these insights have not generally been applied to improving health behavior and health care delivery, as applying these concepts to health has more inherent challenges than to areas in which economists have natural expertises such as savings and investment behavior. The goal of the proposed Roybal Center is to catalyze and support research that accelerates the translation of insights from behavioral economics to improve health care behaviors and health care delivery. This will be a collaborative effort involving clinical faculty from the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) School of Medicine (SOM) as well as behavioral economists and psychologists from both the Wharton School and School of Arts and Sciences at UPENN and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
Specific aims will be to: 1.) facilitate and support research that advances translation of behavioral economic concepts to improve health behaviors and health care delivery, particularly as pertains to health among the elderly; 2.) work with public and private sector entities to design and test scalable interventions that can improve the health of large populations of patients; 3.) work with public and private sector entities to disseminate our findings and support the implementation of effective interventions. The proposed Center will support a Management and Administrative (Admin) Core and a Pilot Core. The Admin Core will broker relationships with external entities for potential pilots;provide advice on statistical design, cost effectiveness analyses, and statistical programming;develop and provide a common set of measures;provide support for oversight and regulatory compliance;and set up mechanisms to enhance communication such as a dedicated website and twice-yearly research retreats for Center faculty. The initial set of 4 pilot projects are all randomized controlled trials in 'real world'settings that impact the health of elderly Americans, focusing on improving diabetes control among veterans, calorie consumption in restaurants, exercise among the elderly, and flu shot vaccination rates among hospital employees.

Public Health Relevance

Behavioral economics, which integrates ideas and research insights from psychology and economics, has helped improve understanding of human motivation and behavior, but these insights have not systematically been applied to improving health behavior and health care delivery. The proposed Roybal Center will work to use behavior economics to address major public health challenges such as smoking, obesity, and medication non-adherence, using collaboration from social scientists and physicians at UPENN and CMU.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
5P30AG034546-04
Application #
8319389
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3 (M2))
Program Officer
King, Jonathan W
Project Start
2009-09-30
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$328,229
Indirect Cost
$120,788
Name
University of Pennsylvania
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
042250712
City
Philadelphia
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
19104
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