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Are incentive schemes effective in changing young people’s behaviour? A systematic review

Kavanagh, Josephine and Oakley, Ann and Harden, Angela and Trouton, Alex and Powell, Chloe (2011) Are incentive schemes effective in changing young people’s behaviour? A systematic review. Health Education Journal, 70 (2). pp. 192-205. ISSN 0017-8969. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Objective: To examine the impact of single or dual component incentive schemes on health and social behaviours, in young people. Design: A systematic review. Method: Systematic and comprehensive cross-disciplinary searches were conducted to identify research. Following screening for relevance, included studies were quality assessed and data extracted. Both outcome and process evaluation studies were included in either a statistical meta-analysis or narrative synthesis. Results: Sixteen trials and seven process evaluations were included in the review. There is some evidence to show that incentives are effective in improving single health behaviours, but not complex health behaviours. Incentives had no impact on levels of reported effort, or attendance in education studies. Whilst viewed favourably by young people, incentives did not necessarily translate into improvements in targeted behaviours. Conclusion: Evidence suggests that incentives schemes do not provide policy makers or practitioners with a simple route to improving young people’s health or other behaviours. However, there is evidence that incentives can be useful in encouraging positive health behaviour change where a simple or single action is required.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Social Science Research Unit
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 01:59
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:57
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