Background: Providing individuals with immediate, consistent inducements for health behaviors that do not provide proximal tangible benefits may promote adherence to diabetes self-management behaviors.
Objective: To evaluate whether financial incentives lead to improvement in glycemic control and self-management behaviors in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled crossover study with 12-18 year olds with type 1 diabetes. Adolescents self-selected target self-management behaviors (e.g., increase continuous glucose monitor [CGM] sensor wear time) and outcome goals (e.g., improve time in range [TIR]) and could earn up to $180 in each 3-month intervention cycle. Adolescents cycled through 3 study arms every 3 months: gain-framed payment where adolescents earned money for meeting behavioral goals, loss-framed payment where adolescents lost a portion of a weekly payment for not meeting behavioral goals, and usual care. Adolescents earned or lost $1.75 per day in the financial incentives arms, and a $2.75 weekly bonus for meeting their outcome-based goal. Goals were modeled against study arms with generalized linear mixed models to account for the longitudinal nature of the crossover design.
Results: Out of 39 participants (mean age 16.1 years, 54% male, mean baseline HbA1c 9.42%, 38% insulin pump use, 95% CGM use) , 34 completed the trial. Mean HbA1c aggregated over all interventions was lower compared to baseline at 9.07% (p=0.13) and there was no difference in HbA1c among the 3 arms. Compared to the mean TIR for those under usual care of 39%, mean TIR under gain- and loss-frames were 45% (p<0.01) and 43% (p<0.01) , respectively. Compared to a mean 41% behavioral goal attainment within usual care, mean behavioral goal attainment under gain- and loss-frames were 50% (p<0.01) and 45% (p<0.01) , respectively.
Conclusions: Financial incentives can improve adolescent self-management behaviors and time in range in the short term and merits further longitudinal study to evaluate the effects on glycemic control and health care utilization.
F. Malik: n/a. T. Chen: None. M. Manzueta: None. J. Yi-frazier: None. C. Pihoker: None. J. L. Leblanc: None. S. K. Shah: None. D. Wright: None.
American Diabetes Association (1-18-ICTS-100)