Article Text

Evaluation of the effectiveness of behavioural economic incentive programmes for the promotion of a healthy diet and physical activity: a protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis
  1. Suparee Boonmanunt1,
  2. Oraluck Pattanaprateep1,
  3. Boonsong Ongphiphadhanakul2,
  4. Gareth McKay3,
  5. John Attia4,5,
  6. Ammarin Thakkinstian1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Mahidol University, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
  3. 3Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Sciences, Belfast, UK
  4. 4Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oraluck Pattanaprateep; oraluck.pat{at}


Introduction Obesity and being overweight are major risk factors for metabolic syndrome and non-communicable diseases. Despite the recommendation that a healthy diet and physical activity can reduce the severity of these diseases, many fail to adhere to these measures. From a behavioural economic perspective, adherence to such measures can be encouraged through financial incentives. However, additional related behavioural economic approaches may improve the effectiveness of an incentive programme. As such, we have developed a protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis to summarise the current evidence from financial incentive programmes with and without behavioural economic insights for promoting healthy diet and physical activity.

Methods and analysis Previous systematic reviews, meta-analyses and individual studies were identified from Medline and Scopus in June 2020 and will be updated until December 2020. Individual studies will be selected and data extracted by two reviewers. Disagreement will be resolved by consensus or adjudicated by a third reviewer. A descriptive analysis will summarise the effectiveness of behavioural economic incentive programmes for promoting healthy diet and physical activity. Moreover, individual studies will be pooled using network meta-analyses where possible. I2 statistics and Cochran’s Q test will be used to assess heterogeneity. Risk of bias and publication bias, if appropriate, will be evaluated, as well as the overall strength of the evidence.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval for a systematic review and meta-analysis is not required. The findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42020198024.

  • protocols & guidelines
  • health economics
  • change management
  • behavioural economic
  • incentive programmes

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  • Contributors SB is the principal investigator with overall responsibility for protocol development, together with OP and AT. SB wrote the protocol and registered the protocol at PROSPERO. SB and OP performed study searches and preliminary selection. AT designed review methods, data analysis plan, wrote and critically appraised the review protocol. BO, GM, JA and AT wrote and critically appraised the review protocol. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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