Risk Aversion and Health Behavior Change: Evidence from a Pilot Study of Acceptability of a New Malaria Diagnostic Technology in Nigeria

Jenny Liu, University of California, San Francisco
Sepideh Modrek, Stanford University
Jennifer Anyanti, Society for Family Health
Ernest Nwokolo, Society for Family Health
Anna De La Cruz, University of California, San Francisco
Eric Schatzkin, University of California, San Francisco
Chinwoke Isiguzo, Society for Family Health
Dominic Montagu, University of California, San Francisco

Surprisingly little research has been conducted on risk aversion and behavior change for malaria prevention and treatment despite the scale of morbidity and mortality from malaria in much of the developing world. In this study, we explore the relationship between risk aversion—measured when people believe they are sick—to the acceptability of a new health technology, malaria rapid diagnostic tests, and adherence to treatment through the course of illness. This is the first study to evaluate risk aversion among ill patients who are confronted with real and immediate health choices, and assesses the association of risk tolerance with take-up of a new health technology and to learning about health behavior over time (from a sick state to a healthy state). Data is being collected among adult patients seeking treatment for suspected malaria at privately-owned pharmacies and patented medicine vendors in Nigeria. Results are forthcoming.

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Presented in Session 108: Does Information Change Health Behavior?