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Incentive Disbursement Pattern

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02154256
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 3, 2014
Last Update Posted : September 27, 2016
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Pennsylvania

Brief Summary:

This study will be a three-arm randomized, controlled trial that the investigators will run in 2014 with approximately 4,000 users of an app called Achievemint. AchieveMint rewards users with points (which can be redeemed for prizes) for every step they take. The investigators will be testing three different point-based programs designed to encourage users to build exercise habits over the course of a month: stable incentives, increasing incentives, and decreasing incentives. After the investigators' month-long intervention period, the investigators will observe users' step counts during a month-long follow-up period to test which of the investigators' habit-building programs leaves users with the best exercise habits (or the highest step counts) after they conclude.

The time frame of observation will be 8 months.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Exercise Behavioral: Increasing incentives Behavioral: Decreasing incentives Behavioral: stable incentives Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Past research has shown that paying people to exercise repeatedly can create exercise habits that last long after cash incentives are removed (Charness and Gneezy, 2009; Acland and Levy, 2013). the investigators' research will examine what kind of incentive programs build long-lasting habits most effectively. Specifically, the investigators will compare the long-term effects (based on step counts in the one month after the conclusion of the investigators' intervention) of three different interventions: (1) incentives for taking steps that remain stable over the course of a month (stable incentives); (2) incentives (of equal net value) for taking steps that start low and grow larger over the course of the month (increasing incentives); and (3) incentives (of equal net value) for taking steps that start high and decrease over the course of the month (decreasing incentives). For example, during the month-long intervention, users in group (1) will receive 6x their usual points every day for each step they take; users in group (2) will receive 2x the usual points for several days, then 3x the usual points, and so on up to 10x the usual number of points; finally, group (3) will have the same incentive schedule as group (2) but in reverse - starting with a 10x multiplier and declining. The question is this: Is it better to ease people into exercise when trying to help them form a lasting habit, to start them off intensively and then ease up the pressure, or to maintain steady, constant incentives to exercise? By examining the steps taken by members of the investigators' three experimental groups in the month following the investigators' intervention, the investigators will be able to assess whether increasing, decreasing, or stable incentives are ideal for creating lasting habits after incentives are removed. The anticipated output of this project is a published research paper.

The time frame of observation will be 8 months.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 3519 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Increasing, Decreasing, and Stable Incentives in a Health App Aggregator Website
Study Start Date : June 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Increasing incentives
The investigators will offer incentives to users that begin low, and get higher over time.
Behavioral: Increasing incentives
Offer incentives that increase over time.

Experimental: Decreasing incentives
The investigators will offer incentives to users that start high, and decrease over time.
Behavioral: Decreasing incentives
offer incentives that decrease over time

Experimental: Stable incentives
The investigators will offer incentives that stay stable over time.
Behavioral: stable incentives
offer incentives that are stable over time, but higher than usual care

No Intervention: Usual care control
The investigators will offer incentives that are identical to the incentives normally offered by the investigators' partner company.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Steps walked [ Time Frame: 8 months ]
    Subjects will track steps walked with pedometers. The investigators will track how many steps they take for 8 months

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • all users of the Achievemint app will be eligible for inclusion

Exclusion Criteria:

  • all users of the Achievemint app who are in the top 30 percentiles of activity levels will be excluded.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02154256

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United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
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Principal Investigator: Katherine L Milkman, PhD University of Pennsylvania

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT02154256     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AM14I001
First Posted: June 3, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 27, 2016
Last Verified: September 2016
Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania: