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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R03CA188473-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Williams, David
Organization: Brown University
Project Title: Using Behavioral Economics to Promote Exercise Among Inactive Overweight Adults
Fiscal Year: 2016


¿ DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Approximately 60% of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, and obesity has been linked to numerous health problems. Physical activity has been recommended for overweight and obese adults to enhance weight- loss and/or weight-maintenance, and to reduce risk of chronic disease, including heart disease and cancers of the breast and colon. Despite the benefits of exercise, only 20% of overweight or obese adults meet the minimum national recommendations (150 minutes/week of moderate intensity exercise-e.g., brisk walking), and drop out in the first few months of exercise programs is as high as 50%. Given these data, there is a need to improve adherence to exercise programs, especially for overweight and obese adults. We propose to conduct a pilot study to test feasibility and proof-of-concept for two incentive programs to promote exercise among low-active overweight and obese adults. To address weaknesses in the literature, the programs will be (a) conducted in a community setting by the Greater Providence YMCAs and (b) financially sustainable, such that they do not require removal of the incentives after a specified period of time. In both incentive programs, participants will pay the standard monthly YMCA membership fee of $49/month. In the Rebate incentive program, participants will have the opportunity to earn $1/day in rebates on their membership fee for each day that they attend the YMCA (verified by objective swipe-card data), with a maximum of $5/week. In the Donation incentive program, participants will have the opportunity to earn $1/day (using the same incentive schedule) in donations to a registered local charity of the participant's choice. Thus, the proposed study will compare three experimental conditions: (a) Rebate incentives (n=25); (b) Donation incentives (n=25); and (c) Control (i.e., no incentives) (n=25). Our Primary Aims are to test (1) feasibility f the two incentive programs, (2) feasibility of the research methods to evaluate the preliminary efficacy of the two incentive programs, and (3) proof-of- concept for the two incentive programs (relative to control), through comparison of average number of incented sessions/week over one year. Secondary outcomes will be self-reported minutes per week of exercise over one year. The proposed research will provide a preliminary investigation into two community-based, financially sustainable incentive programs to promote exercise for adults who are at increased risk for cancer. Following demonstration of feasibility and proof-of-concept we plan to apply for an R01 to test the incentive programs in an RCT. Positive findings from such a trial would provide a fast-track for a community-based ready-to- implement exercise promotion intervention. Additionally, such findings would have significant implications for the use of financially sustainable incentive programs for exercise through other community organizations (e.g., privately-owned health clubs), healthcare organizations, or employers (e.g., employer fitness facilities), as well as providing a model for incentive programs for other health-related behaviors (e.g., smoking cessation, weight loss).


Small sustainable monetary donation-based incentives to promote physical activity: A randomized controlled trial.
Authors: Galárraga O. , Bohlen L.C. , Dunsiger S.I. , Lee H.H. , Emerson J.A. , Boyle H.K. , Strohacker K. , Williams D.M. .
Source: Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2020 Apr; 39(4), p. 265-268.
EPub date: 2019-11-21.
PMID: 31750676
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Conditional economic incentives to improve HIV prevention and treatment in low-income and middle-income countries.
Authors: Galárraga O. , Sosa-Rubí S.G. .
Source: The lancet. HIV, 2019 10; 6(10), p. e705-e714.
PMID: 31578955
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Small sustainable monetary incentives versus charitable donations to promote exercise: Rationale, design, and baseline data from a randomized pilot study.
Authors: Williams D.M. , Lee H.H. , Connell L. , Boyle H. , Emerson J. , Strohacker K. , Galárraga O. .
Source: Contemporary clinical trials, 2018 03; 66, p. 80-85.
EPub date: 2018-01-31.
PMID: 29374526
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Impact of Small Monetary Incentives on Exercise in University Students.
Authors: Strohacker K. , Galárraga O. , Emerson J. , Fricchione S.R. , Lohse M. , Williams D.M. .
Source: American journal of health behavior, 2015 Nov; 39(6), p. 779-86.
PMID: 26450545
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