What is it about?

This review paper shows that it is effective to offer people seeking substance use treatment, and potentially also those seeking treatment for other mental health disorders, financial incentives to encourage them to attend treatment, take medication, and meet treatment goals.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Individuals pursuing mental health treatment often do not attend initial appointments, discontinue treatment early, and do not complete homework or other treatment goals, all of which can lead to poor outcomes. Financial incentives effectively increase patients' treatment attendance, medication adherence, and treatment goal completion, suggesting that offering incentives may increase treatment engagement and potentially improve treatment outcomes.


I have seen financial incentives be really motivating for patients to engage in mental health treatment. I conducted this review to evaluate whether the evidence supports this observation and what outcomes have been studied (e.g., treatment attendance, medication adherence). I also wanted to encourage researchers to study financial incentives for mental health disorders aside from substance use. While the vast majority of studies have tested incentives among individuals with substance use disorders, there is no reason to believe that they would be less effective for individuals with other disorders. If incentives are effective for increasing mental health treatment engagement, we should be using them more for this purpose.

Gabriela Khazanov
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Do financial incentives increase mental health treatment engagement? A meta-analysis., Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, June 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000737.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page