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On The Mend Study on
Financial Incentives

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions affect millions of people in the UK, and non-adherence to home exercise programmes is a major issue that affects clinical outcomes and quality of life. To address this, On The Mend (OTM) developed a smartphone and web-based digital platform that utilises a reward-based model to incentivise greater engagement with physical rehabilitation.

The aim of this study was to determine whether novel app-based incentivisation to home exercise programmes improves exercise compliance and health outcomes in physical rehabilitation. A prospective multi-centre study was conducted over 6 months, enrolling eight participants requiring physical rehabilitation. The study was conducted in partnership with two physiotherapy practices and a leisure centre, and participants were encouraged to engage with at least 80% of their prescribed treatment plan via the OTM app to qualify for a weekly £5 voucher over a total of eight weeks.

Results indicated that the novel approach to incentivisation improved adherence to physical rehabilitation programs, with 100% of participants reporting they enjoyed earning rewards, 85% saying that rewards improved their rehab experience and 71% stating that rewards matter in how they use the app. Furthermore, half of the participants successfully achieved a weekly exercise completion rate of more than 80% anywhere between one to eight consecutive weeks. No adverse events were reported. The findings suggest that digital incentivisation could be a cost-effective solution to improve adherence to home exercise programs and enhance the patient experience of the rehabilitation journey.

Key Facts

  • 100% Participants enjoyed rewards
  • 85%  said rewards improved rehab experience
  • 71% stated rewards matter in how they use the app 

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