Following Up for Better Health: Improving Non-Communicable Disease Compliance in Urban India
The majority of individuals with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) live in the developing world, where prevalence rates are growing rapidly as nations become richer and more urban. In cities, where most individuals have access to a variety of medical providers, improving adherence to treatment is key to reducing morbidity from NCDs. Researchers will partner with Swasth India, which operates private health clinics in the slums of Mumbai, to experimentally evaluate several interventions designed to improve NCD adherence. These interventions include (a) SMS reminders to adhere to treatment, (b) patient education on NCDs and the consequences of non-adherence, (c) a discount for NCD follow-up visits and medicine, and (d) a “regular patient” lottery, where the number of follow-up visits increases the value of the lottery prize. A key aim of the project will be to evaluate the role that different behavioral factors (particularly psychic costs of seeking treatment, limited attention, and loss aversion) play in limiting NCD adherence.