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“Incentivizing Patients to Live Healthy Lives: Does it Work?” offered for free access

Why Do People Choose to Live an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

By IGI Global on Feb 28, 2017
AWhy Do People Choose to Live an Unhealthy Life Style? Most individuals know how to lead a healthy lifestyle, but they continue to adopt unhealthy habits. Due to harmful health behaviors, smoking and alcohol intake, lack of exercise, and poor diet, many individuals in western societies have noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Examples of NCDs include diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, mental illness and cancer to name a few. Per the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases kill 38 million annually, yet people are still choosing an unhealthy lifestyle.

In “Incentivizing Patients to Live Healthy Lives: Does it Work?” a study was conducted in Germany to determine if incentives were the answer to a healthier life. Healthy lifestyles were promoted via credit-points (bonus points) that could be earned for healthy behavior such as completing screenings, being active participants in a gym, flu vaccinations, etc. While positive results were a direct correlation with this experiment, factors such as societal status and education were significant components that needed to be considered further. The economical argument to raise the cost of unhealthy foods also surfaced in efforts to provide alternative ways to encourage individuals to make the ideal choice for their health.

Written by Markus Lüngen (University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Germany), Anna Marie Passon (University Hospital Cologne, Germany) and Stephanie Stock (University Hospital Cologne, Germany), this research is featured in the International Journal of Public and Private Perspectives on Healthcare, Culture, and the Environment (IJPPPHCE), a refereed, applied research journal designed to provide comprehensive coverage and understanding of clinical problem solving in healthcare. The term "user" includes health professionals as well as patients and anyone who uses the web with a user name. These "users" generate an information flow that "drives" the system's workflow (hence the choice of the term "driven"). "User-driven healthcare" aims at improved healthcare through clinical problem solving utilizing concerted experiential learning in conversations between multiple users and stakeholders, primarily patients, health professionals, and other actors in a care giving collaborative network across a Web interface. The journal serves as a valuable academic platform for all these stakeholders to document and share their learning.

Access “Incentivizing Patients to Live Healthy Lives: Does it Work?” here.

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