Diet, exercise, and glucose-lowering medication are first-line treatments for type 2 diabetes, but morbidity and mortality remain high because many patients do not adequately adhere to these treatments. Treatment adherence provides its greatest health benefits (e.g., avoidance of diabetes-related complications such as renal disease) only after months or years of sustained lifestyle change; however, accumulating evidence demonstrates that individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes and related disorders (e.g., obesity) rapidly devalue the future and show a bias for immediate gratification. The overall goal of this project is to improve treatment adherence in type 2 diabetes using an episodic future thinking intervention (i.e., mental prospection) designed to increase valuation of the future.
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors
Jeff Stein is a research assistant professor in the VTCRI Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors. His research interests include behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, addiction, obesity, and health behavior.