Health Behavior in Indonesia

Health Behavior in Indonesia
Project Line 1: Diabetes and Hypertension Screening Uptake
Project Line 2: Protective Health Behavior against COVID19

When:          2019 and 2020
     Where:         Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar, Aceh, Indonesia
     Who:            2.006 individuals aged 40 - 70 years
     Sampling:    Two-stage, stratified random sampling procedure

Project Line 1:

The Effect of SMS Reminders on Diabetes and Hypertension Screening Uptake - 
A Randomized Control Trial

While the burden of non-communicable diseases is rising in low- and middle-income countries, the uptake of screening for these diseases remains low. We conducted a community-based RCT in Indonesia to assess whether personalized and targeted text messages can increase the demand for existing public screening services for diabetes and hypertension in the at-risk population. Our intervention increased screening uptake by approximately 6.6 percentage points compared to the pure control group. Among those, who received and read the messages, the effect size is 17 percentage points. The intervention appears to work through a reminder rather than a knowledge effect. We conclude that text messages can be a cheap and easily scalable tool to reduce testing gaps in a middle-income country setting.
Collaborators: Maja Marcus, Anna Reuter, Lisa Rogge, Sebatian Vollmer
Diet in Banda Aceh
Fatty and sugary choices: A snack cart in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Project Line 2

Knowing Versus Doing:
Protective Health Behaviour Against COVID-19 in Aceh, Indonesia

The COVID-19 pandemic shapes the lives of people around the globe – at the same time, people themselves have the power to shape the pandemic. By employing protective health behaviour, the population can alleviate the severity of an outbreak. This may be of particular importance whenever health systems or populations are vulnerable to shocks, as is frequently the case in low- and middle-income settings. Therefore, understanding the underlying drivers of protective action against COVID-19 is urgently needed for policy responses. We investigate the individual-level determinants of disease knowledge and behaviour in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Aceh, Indonesia. We use data from a representative sample of 40–70-year-olds, mainly obtained from telephone interviews between March and May 2020. We employ linear probability models that account for a comprehensive set of factors that were previously found to influence knowledge and practice during pandemics. We find that both knowledge and uptake of protective health behaviour are relatively high. Knowledge is the largest explanatory driver of protective health behaviour, while socioeconomics and economic preferences are minor determinants. However, knowledge itself is strongly shaped by socioeconomic gradients. On this basis, we show that policies need to disseminate information in an equitable way.

Collaborators: Eliana Chavarría, Farah Diba, Maja Marcus, Marthoenis, Anna Reuter, Lisa Rogge, Sebatian Vollmer

Publication: Chavarría, E., Diba, F., Marcus, M. E., Marthoenis, Reuter, A., Rogge, L., & Vollmer, S. (2021). Knowing Versus Doing: Protective Health Behaviour Against COVID-19 in Aceh, Indonesia. The Journal of Development Studies, 1-22.