Study design of BETTER-BP: Behavioral economics trial to enhance regulation of blood pressure
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Nonadherence to antihypertensive medications remains a persistent problem that leads to preventable morbidity and mortality. Behavioral economic strategies represent a novel way to improve antihypertensive medication adherence, but remain largely untested especially in vulnerable populations which stand to benefit the most. The Behavioral Economics Trial To Enhance Regulation of Blood Pressure (BETTER-BP) was designed in this context, to test whether a digitally-enabled incentive lottery improves antihypertensive adherence and reduces systolic blood pressure (SBP). DESIGN/UNASSIGNED:BETTER-BP is a pragmatic randomized trial conducted within 3 safety-net clinics in New York City: Bellevue Hospital Center, Gouveneur Hospital Center, and NYU Family Health Centers - Park Slope. The trial will randomize 435 patients with poorly controlled hypertension and poor adherence (<80% days adherent) in a 2:1 ratio (intervention:control) to receive either an incentive lottery versus passive monitoring. The incentive lottery is delivered via short messaging service (SMS) text messages that are delivered based on (1) antihypertensive adherence tracked via a wireless electronic monitoring device, paired with (2) a probability of lottery winning with variable incentives and a regret component for nonadherence. The study intervention lasts for 6 months, and ambulatory systolic blood pressure (SBP) will be measured at both 6 and 12 months to evaluate immediate and durable lottery effects. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:BETTER-BP will generate knowledge about whether an incentive lottery is effective in vulnerable populations to improve antihypertensive medication adherence. If successful, this could lead to the implementation of this novel strategy on a larger scale to improve outcomes.