Diet Compliance

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Dietary compliance for a severely restrictive diet is often bland and unpalatable to patients; as such, compliance with the diet can be challenging and an undesirable method of treatment. This study uses a token economy to reinforce compliance with a long term medically advised diet, spanning the study over the course of four weeks. Between meals and snacks, there are multiple opportunities each day for a patient to break the diet, which may have adverse health consequences for the patient. For this reason, it is crucial to modify the behavior of the patient in order to achieve the maximum medical support and health benefits.
Diets can be particularly tricky for college students eating on a budget. The student in the following study will
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Their study focused on four patients between the ages of 11-18 (two males and two females) over an average of twelve months. The token economy was used to reinforce safe eating habits of the patients as they awaited renal transplants, therefore, the program was only a temporary requirement. The token system followed an ABA design. First in the procedure, weight, BUN levels, and Potassium levels were measured in order to track and compare the dietary behavior and adherence in patients throughout the study. In the intervention phase, medical staff routinely took measurements during dialysis. For each measurement within the target range specified for each child, the child could earn 2-3 points. Eighteen points had the equivalence of two dollars to be used towards purchasing toys or other items in a prize bank. All items in the prize bank were chosen by the children before beginning the study. Points were accumulated and presented on a chart made available to medical staff and patients to provide further motivation, and could be traded in for prizes at the end of the week. Results showed a significant relationship between the implementation of the token economy and acceptable weight loss, BUN and potassium levels. The effectiveness of this study is partially due to the variety of prizes offered and the lack of parental support needed to succeed (insert
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