BRISC—Behavioral Research Intervention Science Center

BRISC—Behavioral Research Intervention Science Center

Behavior change and engagement is essential to improved health and well-being.

There’s a lot of discussion and attention around behavioral incentives and the potential impact on patient recruitment and retention for clinical trials; the potential impact on improving adherence; and the potential impact on improving health.

Not all behavioral incentives are created equal.

  • Some incentive programs are designed poorly – which will yield poor results.
  • Some programs are implemented inconsistently – which will yield poor results.
  • Some programs have limited or no funds for evaluation – which stops the work short of the scientific finish line.

DCRI has a unique approach grounded in science and developed by physician scientists to create more effective, outcome-driven behavioral interventions, and ultimately, create healthier populations and communities.

Charlene Wong, MD, MSHP
Co-Director, Behavioral
Research Intervention Science Center

"In behavioral economics, much of what is believed in standard economics is considered, however, layered on top is an understanding that people have unconscious biases that sometimes lead us to make decisions that aren’t perfectly rational."

wong

Our Capabilities

The DCRI helps organizations design, execute and evaluate behavioral incentive programs based on the latest science. Payers, researchers, health systems, and employers can access our capabilities in three ways:

  • Precision Incentive™ - Design, Implement & Evaluate Programs for Payers & Employers
  • BRISC Lab – Partner on state & federal grant programs & university health systems to improve health delivery
  • BRISC Consulting – Consult with clinical researchers on how to more effectively run studies, including trial recruitment, retention and protocol adherence

Watch Charlene Wong, MD, MSHP, discuss how behavioral economics can be applied to research in the design phase.

Can Incentivizing People to Drink More Water Reduce Recurrence of Kidney Stones?

New research shows that kidney stones doubled in men and quadrupled in women between 1984 and 2012 (Kittanamongkolchai et al., 2018). Researchers with the Prevention of Urinary Stones with Hydration (PUSH) study have been testing their own hypothesis for several months; namely, that a high-tech water bottle might be one key to reducing the recurrence of kidney stones. The study's primary aim is to determine whether use of a "smart" water bottle to stay hydrated, along with a program of financial incentives and health coaching, will result in reduced risk of kidney stone recurrence over a two-year period. The DCRI serves as the Scientific Data Research Center for the Urinary Stone Disease Research Network (USDRN), whose researchers are conducting the study supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of NIH.

Chuck Scales, MD, MSHS, FACS
Co-Director, Behavioral
Research Intervention Science Center

"My hope is that through the PUSH study, we can focus on stone prevention and empower patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid recurrent kidney stones."

Chuck Scales

Research Highlights

Current Evidence on Health Behavior Incentives in the Medicaid Program

State efforts to help Medicaid beneficiaries engage in specific health behaviors show early signs of success, according to a new report. The analysis was developed by researchers at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Teens more likely to take charge of their health when money is on the line

Study shows adolescents and young adults with Type 1 diabetes were nearly three times more likely to monitor glucose levels when given a small financial incentive.

Team competition increases resident participation in online quality improvement (QI) course

A number of challenges impede the implementation of resident educational programs. This randomized, controlled trial set out to evaluate whether game mechanics, such as team-based competition, status indicators, and social collaboration can drive behavior change.

Excellence in Research Award

The American College of Surgeons awarded the Excellence in Research designation to 16 studies from more than 2000 submitted abstracts. The DCRI's following submission was the top abstract in the Surgical Education category:

Just a Nudge: Applying Behavioral Incentives to Engage Residents in Quality Improvement Education
Investigators: Ashley C. Wietsma, Eugene B. Cone, Jonathan Bergman, Tannaz Moin, Arlene Fink, Jonathan C. Routh, B. Price Kerfoot, and Charles D. Scales

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Our Approach

We partner to provide the scientific and academic rigor and approach to incentive programs from start to finish to help employers, payors, health systems, clinical researchers and others achieve improved health outcomes.

Design

  • Participant Driven
  • Protocol Backed
  • Performance Proven

Implement

  • Participant Engaged
  • Platform Agnostic
  • Full Service

Evaluate

  • Did the incentive work?
  • Did we change behavior?
  • Did we generate ROI?
  • Did we improve health?
Process
When you have questions around incentives,
the answers are here.

We Use Precision IncentiveTM to Engage Participants in the Clinical Research Continuum

DCRI believes that people—patients, caregivers, research participants, and community members—are partners in research, not subjects. We believe in taking every opportunity to co-learn. That’s why the DCRI engages people in our research design, conduct, oversight, and dissemination activities, and strives to create a new gold standard for participant engagement in clinical research.

DCRI’s Research Together program provides sponsors and investigators with access to the breadth and depth of DCRI thought leaders who understand the science of engagement and its evaluation across the research and development continuum and into clinical care.

Leadership


Chuck Scales, MD, MSHS, FACS
Co-Director, Behavioral
Research Intervention Science Center
Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology)


Charlene Wong, MD, MSHP
Co-Director, Behavioral
Research Intervention Science Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

BRISC Faculty and Thought Leadership

Peter Ubel, MD
Behavioral Science
Professor of Business, Fuqua School of Business

Gary Bennett, PhD
Psychology & Neuroscience
Director, Duke Global Digital Health Science

Eric Peterson, MD, MPH
Cardiology
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Ann Marie Navar, MD
Cardiology
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Select Journal Articles