A randomised controlled trial of financial incentives to increase hepatitis B vaccination completion among people who inject drugs in Australia

The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, NSW, 2052, Australia.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 10/2013; 57(4):297-303. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.04.013


This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of modest financial incentives in increasing completion of an accelerated 3-dose hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination schedule (0, 7, 21 days) among people who inject drugs (PWID).

Randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly allocated to receive $30 Australian Dollars cash following receipt of vaccine doses two and three (‘incentive condition’), or standard care (‘control condition’). Serologically confirmed HBV-susceptible PWID. Two inner-city health services and a field study site in Sydney, Australia. The primary outcome was completion of the vaccination series. Additional assessments included self-reported demographic, drug use and treatment, and risk-taking histories.

Compared to the control condition, significantly more participants in the incentive condition received all three vaccine doses, under intention-to-treat analyses (n = 139; 87% versus 66%; p = .004); and within the specified window periods under per protocol analyses (n = 107 received three vaccine doses; 92% versus 67%; p = .001). Multivariate analysis indicated that the incentive condition and longer injecting histories significantly increased the likelihood of series completion. Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders were significantly less likely to complete the series.

Modest financial incentives, per-dose, increased adherence to the accelerated HBV vaccination schedule among PWID. Results have implications for increasing HBV and, potentially, other vaccine-preventable infections, among PWID.

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Available from: Lisa Maher, Aug 14, 2014
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    • "In our present study, despite offering financial incentives for vaccination at SEPs, only 58% of Dose 1 recipients completed the vaccine series. However, several studies have established a consensus that paying individuals do increase vaccination completion rates in drug injecting populations [10, 30, 31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a vaccine preventable infection yet vaccination rates are low among injection drug users (IDUs) despite the high risk of infection and longstanding recommendations to promote vaccination. We sought to improve vaccination rates by reaching IDUs through syringe exchange programs (SEPs) in three U.S. cities. Methods IDUs were randomized in a trial comparing the standard HBV vaccination schedule (0, 1, and 6 months) to an accelerated schedule (0, 1, and 2 months) and participation data were analyzed to identify determinants of completion of the three-dose vaccine series. Independent variables explored included sociodemographics, injection and syringe access behaviors, assessment of health beliefs, HBV-associated knowledge, and personal health status. Results Covariates associated with completion of the three-dose vaccine series were accelerated vaccine schedule (aOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.34, 2.58, p = <0.001), older age (aOR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03, 1.07, p = <0.001), and poorer self-rated health score (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05, 1.5, p = 0.02). Completion was less likely for those getting syringes from SEP customers than for SEP customers (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.19, 0.58, p = <0.001). Conclusions SEPs should offer hepatitis vaccination in a manner that minimizes time between first and last visits by accelerating the dosing schedule. Public health interventions should target younger, less healthy, and non-SEP customer participants. Other health interventions at SEPs may benefit from similar approaches that reach out beyond regular SEP customers.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: The Australian National Hepatitis B Strategy 2010-13 outlines five priority areas for developing a comprehensive response to the hepatitis B virus (HBV): building partnerships and strengthening community action; preventing HBV transmission; optimising diagnosis and screening; clinical management of people with chronic hepatitis B (CHB); and developing health maintenance, care and support for people with HBV. A scoping study was used to map the main sources and types of evidence available on the epidemiology and natural history of HBV among Indigenous Australians as well as public health responses published since 2001 (January 2001-May 2013). Gaps in current knowledge were identified. While the literature documents the success of universal infant immunisation and indicates the potential for screening initiatives to identify infected and susceptible individuals, prevalence of CHB and hepatocellular cancer remain high in Indigenous Australians. Significant gaps in knowledge and practice were identified in relation to each of the five National Hepatitis B Strategy priority action areas. Successful implementation of the strategy in Indigenous communities and reducing the burden of HBV and hepatocellular cancer in Indigenous Australians will require increased investment in research and knowledge transfer across all priority areas.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Australian Journal of Primary Health
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    ABSTRACT: Financial incentives have been used in a variety of settings to motivate behaviors that might not otherwise be undertaken. They have been highlighted as particularly useful in settings that require a single behavior, such as appointment attendance or vaccination. They also have differential effects based on socioeconomic status in some applications (e.g. smoking). To further investigate these claims, we tested the effect of providing different types of non-cash financial incentives on the return rates of chlamydia specimen samples amongst 16-24 year-olds in England. In 2011 and 2012, we ran a two-stage randomized experiment involving 2988 young people (1489 in Round 1 and 1499 in Round 2) who requested a chlamydia screening kit from, an online and text screening service run by Preventx Limited. Participants were randomized to control, or one of five types of financial incentives in Round 1 or one of four financial incentives in Round 2. We tested the effect of five types of incentives on specimen sample return; reward vouchers of differing values, charity donation, participation in a lottery, choices between a lottery and a voucher and including vouchers of differing values in the test kit prior to specimen return. Financial incentives of any type, did not make a significant difference in the likelihood of specimen return. The more deprived individuals were, as calculated using Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), the less likely they were to return a sample. The extent to which incentive structures influenced sample return was not moderated by IMD score. Non-cash financial incentives for chlamydia testing do not seem to affect the specimen return rate in a chlamydia screening program where test kits are requested online, mailed to requestors and returned by mail. They also do not appear more or less effective in influencing test return depending on deprivation level.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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