Gamification and social incentives to promote mobility among hospitalized patients

Opportunity

When patients are admitted to the hospital, they spend most of their time in bed or within their designated room. Evidence has demonstrated that this experience leads to functional decline, particularly in older adults.  Health systems are looking for new mobility protocols to address this issue, reduce the harms of hospitalization, and help patients regain function at faster rates. However, the current levels of activity among admitted patients and the best way to design mobility protocols upon discharge are unknown.

Approach

We designed a clinical trial to test how gamification strategies designed using social incentives from behavioral economics can increase patient mobility after hospital discharge. Patients will be enrolled and given a wearable device to track activity during their hospitalization. Upon discharge, they will be randomly assigned to a control group or an intervention arm where they will participate in a game with a personalized goal setting to increase activity.

Impact

This clinical trial is currently enrolling patients and results are expected to be reported in 2019.

Funding

Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI)
Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) Roybal Grant
National Center for Advancing Translational Science
Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics

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