Shivan J. Mehta

I am a Gastroenterologist and Health Care Delivery Scientist.

Shivan J. Mehta, M.D., M.B.A., M.S.H.P.

University of Pennsylvania

An important moment for my research interests was realizing the importance of co-creating health care delivery interventions with clinical and operational leaders while employing rigorous research methods such as prospective randomization in pragmatic trials. This process has identified delivery programs with high potential to improve outcomes while also creating generalizable knowledge that can advance the science of population-based cancer screening.

Dr. Mehta is passionate about developing, evaluating, and implementing new approaches to health care delivery. His main area of focus has been leveraging principles of behavioral economics, new technology, and care redesign to improve population health outcomes related to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, which stemmed from his clinical experience as a gastroenterologist performing screening colonoscopies for patients. Although colorectal cancer screening is effective at reducing the burden of disease, screening rates remain limited, and there are health care disparities in outcomes. By working in close partnership with clinical operations at his own health system and community health centers in the Philadelphia area, he has identified proactive, population-based approaches that make it easier for clinicians to recommend and patients to complete screening. He has conducted over 10 pilot studies in CRC screening outreach, evaluating how behavioral insights such as opt-out framing, effort reduction, and social norms can boost response rates.

This research project will evaluate a multi-level intervention that could durably increase CRC screening rates by incorporating principles of behavioral economics, such as opt-out framing, simplifying choice, and effort reduction. It will be conducted at the University Pennsylvania Health System, in partnership with clinical and operational leaders. Through a pragmatic trial with factorial design, the investigators will develop a centralized program to evaluate the effectiveness of sequential choice (colonoscopy, then fecal immunochemical test to those who defer or decline) compared to offering colonoscopy only through both nudges in the EHR directed to clinicians and direct outreach to patients. The ultimate goal is to increase the proportion of patients up-to-date on CRC screening during the course of a 3-year trial.


Grant Listing
Project Title Grant Number Program Director Publication(s)
Behavioral Economic Approaches for Population-based Colorectal Cancer Screening
1R01CA258893-01A1
Erica Breslau


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Last Updated: 03/01/2022 06:48:40