Donor incentives improve cardiovascular disease risk profile and donation rates.
BACKGROUND: Blood centers may offer point-based reward systems or cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening to incentivize donors. However, combining these incentives to improve CVD risk and blood donation rates has not been studied. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Study was a three-arm prospective controlled trial: Group 1, control (routine points, no CVD screening); Group 2, CVD screening with routine points; and Group 3, CVD screening plus incentive double points. The primary objective was to determine if double versus routine incentive points led to improvement or maintenance of CVD risk profile assessed using self-reported changes in 1) reading food labels for calorie and fat content, 2) exercising daily, 3) reduced fat intake, and 4) increase in eating fruits and vegetables. Outcomes were compared at first and final (2-year) follow-up visits. As secondary outcome, median blood donation rates before enrollment and during study were compared. RESULTS: A total of 570 donors (290 in Group 1, 134 in Group 2, 146 Group 3) were selected. At first follow-up visit, 71.4% in Group 3 versus 62.0% in Group 2 subjects reported at least one of four positive behavioral changes (p < 0.001). Increase in reading food labels for calorie and fat content was the most common change and higher in Group 3 (Group 3 from 60.9% to 79.1%; Group 2 from 67.6% to 77.5%; p < 0.001). Final evaluation showed significant increase in self-reported exercise in Group 3 only (from baseline 52.9% to 68.3%; p < 0.05). Group 3 reported higher increase in median number of donations/year during study enrollment (6.8 [IQR, 4.3-12] vs. baseline 4.6 [IQR, 3.2-7.1] donations/year) than Group 2 (5.6 [IQR, 4.2-10.5] vs. baseline 4.9 [IQR, 3.5-10.2]) and Group 1 (4.4 [IQR, 2.7-8.0] vs. baseline 4.4 [IQR, 2.5-6.0] donations/year; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Positive donor reinforcement (double vs. routine points) resulted in better self-reported health maintenance behavior and increased donation rates.
Goel, R; Kessler, D; Nandi, V; Ortiz, C; Hillyer, CD; Shaz, BH
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