Behavioral Economics Matters for HIV Research: The Impact of Behavioral Biases on Adherence to Antiretrovirals (ARVs)

Sebastian Linnemayr, Chad Stecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Behavioral economics (BE) has been used to study a number of health behaviors such as smoking and drug use, but there is little knowledge of how these insights relate to HIV prevention and care. We present novel evidence on the prevalence of the common behavioral decision-making errors of present-bias, overoptimism, and information salience among 155 Ugandan HIV patients, and analyze their association with subsequent medication adherence. 36 % of study participants are classified as present-biased, 21 % as overoptimistic, and 34 % as having salient HIV information. Patients displaying present-bias were 13 % points (p = 0.006) less likely to have adherence rates above 90 %, overoptimistic clients were 9 % points (p = 0.04) less likely, and those not having salient HIV information were 17 % points (p < 0.001) less likely. These findings indicate that BE may be used to screen for future adherence problems and to better design and target interventions addressing these behavioral biases and the associated suboptimal adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2069-2075
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume19
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Behavioral economics
  • Developing countries
  • HIV
  • Medication adherence
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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