Behavioral economic insights to improve medication adherence in adults with chronic conditions: a scoping review protocol

JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2019 Sep;17(9):1915-1923. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003971.


Objective: The objective of this review is to map the evidence on the use of behavioral economic insights to improve medication adherence in adults with chronic conditions.

Introduction: Medication non-adherence is a barrier to effectively managing chronic conditions, leading to poorer patient outcomes and placing an additional financial burden on healthcare systems. As the population ages and the prevalence of chronic disease increases, new ways to influence patient behavior are needed. Approaches that use insights from behavioral economics may help improve medication adherence, thus reducing morbidity, mortality and financial costs of unmanaged chronic diseases.

Inclusion criteria: Eligible studies will include adults taking medication for a chronic condition. All interventions relevant to high-income settings using insights from behavioral economics to improve medication adherence in adults will be considered. Contexts may include, but are not limited to, primary health care, corporate wellness programs and health insurance schemes. Any study design published in English will be considered. Studies in facilities where medication is administered to patients will be excluded.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, Scopus, PsycINFO, EconLit and CINAHL will be searched from database inception to present. Gray literature will be searched using Google Scholar, OpenGrey and the Grey Literature Report. One reviewer will review titles, and then two reviewers will independently review abstracts to identify eligible studies. One reviewer will extract data on study characteristics, study design and study outcomes. A second reviewer will validate 25% of the extracted information. The results of the data extraction will be presented in a table, and a narrative summary will be presented.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / economics*
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Economics, Behavioral*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Review Literature as Topic