Adolescent and parent perspectives on the acceptability of financial incentives to promote self-care in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

Faisal S. Malik*, Kirsten D. Senturia, Cara D. Lind, Kristen D. Chalmers, Joyce P. Yi-Frazier, Seema K. Shah, Catherine Pihoker, Davene R. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An understanding of acceptability among potential intervention participants is critical to the design of successful real-world financial incentive (FI) programs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore adolescent and parent perspectives on the acceptability of using FI to promote engagement in diabetes self-care in adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Methods: Focus groups with 46 adolescents with T1D (12-17 years old) and 39 parents of adolescents with T1D were conducted in the Seattle metropolitan area. Semistructured questions addressed participants' current use of incentives to promote change in diabetes self-care and receptivity to a theoretical incentive program administered by a third-party. Qualitative data were analyzed and emergent themes identified. Results: Three thematic categories informed participant views about the acceptability of FI programs: (a) the extent to which using FIs in the context of diabetes management fit comfortably into a family's value system, (b) the perceived effectiveness for FIs to promote improved diabetes self-care, and (c) the urgent need for improved self-care due to the threat of diabetes-related health complications. These factors together led most parents and adolescents to be open to FI program participation. Conclusions: The results from this qualitative study suggest that well-designed FI programs to support diabetes management are acceptable to families with adolescents with T1D. Additionally, the use of FIs may have the potential to support adolescents with T1D in developing strong self-care habits and ease the often-turbulent transition to independent self-care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-551
Number of pages19
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • adolescents
  • behavioral economics
  • financial incentives
  • qualitative
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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