The goal of the proposed Roybal Center is to build on the momentum we have created in the past 5 years to accelerate progress towards understanding mechanisms of behavior change using approaches from behavioral economics (Priority Area 1 for this Funding Opportunity Announcement and the thematic focus of our Center) and the consequences of such behavior change for health. We will build on existing relationships with Aetna, Independence Blue Cross, Humana, CVS Caremark, Weight Watchers International, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Discovery/Vitality to catalyze and support research that facilitates 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, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and select collaborators from other Universities.
Specific aims will be to: 1.) facilitate and support researc that advances translation of behavioral economic concepts to improve health behaviors and health care delivery, particularly as pertains to health among older adults; 2.) collaborate with health care organizations to design and test scalable interventions that can improve the health of large populations of patients; 3.) work with external health care organizations 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 Administrative Core will help investigators find field sites for their research, provide general support and guidance, help investigators design studies using the Way to Health Platform, and continue to refine and improve mechanisms to enhance communication such as a dedicated website, listserv, works in progress seminars, and annual research retreats for Center faculty. The initial set of 6 pilot projects are all projects in 'real world' settings that impact the health of middle ged and older Americans, focusing on improving food choice, increasing physical activity, increasing the use of Advance Directives and number of organ donors, and improving medication adherence.
The Penn Roybal Center in Behavioral Economics and Health will tackle major public health challenges such as obesity, sedentary lifestyles, a national shortage of organ donors, and medication non-adherence utilizing concepts and tools from behavioral economics, a network of social scientists and physicians centered at the University of Pennsylvania, and collaborating organizations which have access to large populations and an infrastructure for communicating with them.
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