Current health developments worldwide call for an increased focus on prevention. Preventive measures are vital to tackle the burden of non-communicable diseases and increase the sustainability of health care systems. The benefits of effective prevention are widely acknowledged but how prevention efforts should be organized is hotly debated. At the core of the debate lies a trade-off between scale and scope. Large-scale interventions typically follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
Everyone is assumed to make suboptimal decisions about their health and they receive the exact same intervention. This leads to a narrow scope of these interventions as they cannot cater to the varying needs, preferences and contexts of individuals. Individually tailored interventions are optimized for each individual. They are complex, tackle many different behaviours, and typically involve personal coaching or guidance. However, it is unclear if and how they can be scaled up to large populations.
Impactful behavioural health interventions
Prevention 2.0 has the ambition to bridge this divide. Our goal is to gain knowledge on how to design large scale behavioural health interventions that consider people’s unique needs and the context of their daily lives. The objective is to gain theory- and evidence-based insight into the design of impactful behavioural health interventions by considering the needs, preferences and contexts of individuals. We aim to advance scientific knowledge on the extent to which the effectiveness of behavioural health interventions can be improved by tailoring to (i) individual-level needs and preferences, including psychological traits and states, and to (ii) environmental-level contexts, such as economic, social, cultural, and institutional factors.
Read more about the leaders of this Action Line, Georg Granic and Joost Oude Groeniger.
Georg Granic is Assistant Professor at the department of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics.
Read more about the postdoctoral researchers/Assistant professors of the Action Line 'Prevention': Stefan Lipman and Lili Kókai.
How do we decide about our health? This question is core to my research, teaching and train of thought. I am mainly interested in finding answers to this question by combining insights from health economics, behavioral economics & psychology.
Currently, I am Assistant Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Most of my work has focused on: risk and time preference for health, valuation of health and quality of life & understanding healthy behavior.
Lili Kókai is a health and medical psychologist and public health epidemiologist by training. She completed her PhD at the department of public health of the Erasmus MC on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a theory- and evidence-based lifestyle change app for women with a prior hypertensive pregnancy disorder.
In her postdoc, she considers both individuals’ needs and preferences as well as their (social) contexts as the determinants of their (sustainable) health behaviors. Her areas of expertise include primary prevention, mental health, and m-health interventions.
Read more about the Advisory Board members: Hans van Kippersluis, Kirsten Rohde, Frank van Lenthe, Jasper Been, Carlos Riumallo Herl and Margarita de Vries Mecheva.
Hans van Kippersluis is a Professor of Applied Economics. He has used both theoretical and empirical approaches to study topics in health and human capital formation: (i) how do different components of human capital (e.g., education, health) relate to each other and interact with each other (e.g., why are higher educated individuals healthier than lower educated? Why do rich people smoke less?); (ii) What are the genetic and environmental determinants of education and health?, and (iii) What is the effect of public policies on education and health?
Current projects include investigating the interplay between genes and the environment in producing inequalities in education and health outcomes, developing and testing incentives to encourage healthy behavior, and investigating the impact of public policies on health, education and labor supply decisions.
Kirsten Rohde is Professor of Behavioral Economics at Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), fellow of the Tinbergen Institute, and member of ERIM (Erasmus Research Institute in Management). She is an expert on intertemporal choice, a field of decision theory that analyses the tradeoffs people make between the present and the future. Intertemporal choice plays an important role in health behavior and prevention.
Other research interests include concerns for equality and social preferences, and decisions under risk. Kirsten is associate editor at the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. She teaches in the Bachelor Program Economics and Business Economics and in the Master Specialization Behavioral Economics at ESE.
Frank J. van Lenthe is Professor of Social Epidemiology at the Department of Public Health at Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam (0.8 fte) and Professor of Spatial Diversity and Inequality in Urban Health at the Department of Social Geography and Spatial Planning of Utrecht University (0.2 fte).
His research focuses on the explanation of individual and area-based socioeconomic inequalities in health and health behavior, as well as the effects of natural policy experiments aimed at reducing health inequalities.
Jasper Been is an Associate Professor and Consultant Neonatologist the Sophia Children's Hospital at Erasmus Medical Center. He is also a Research Fellow, Usher Institute, The University of Edinburgh; and an Associate Editor, npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine journal. Topics of his researches are exploring causal mechanisms underlying early-life health inequalities (Action Line Health Equity) and investigating the effectiveness of personalized incentives to promote sustained smoking cessation (Action Line Prevention). His specific research interests are perinatal public health and tobacco control.
Carlos Riumallo Herl is an Assistant Professor of Applied Economics. His research focuses on exploring the impact of policies on health in low and middle-income countries. In particular his work explores the links between health and labour force participation, and the role of prevention for healthy ageing.