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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Behavioral Economics Can Help Increase Cancer Screening

Using principles of behavioral economics can help increase cancer screening and reduce health disparities, according to a new paper from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

[Photo: Dr. Jason Purnell]

Low-income, minority, and uninsured people are disproportionately affected by cancer, in part because they have lower rates of participation in screenings for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer.  The authors outline three concepts that can help effectively promote screening:

“The Affordable Care Act has significantly lowered the cost of preventive treatments for underserved populations, but additional incentives may be necessary to translate increased access into completed screenings,” wrote Dr. Jason Purnell, Assistant Professor at the Brown School  “Tools from behavioral economics may move our efforts forward in meaningful ways by taking a realistic approach to human behavior and decision-making.”

The paper was published January 15 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

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