Behavioural insights and health care

A state of play review

Chris Perry
  • Research aimed to combine existing literature with expert interviews to better understand the opportunities to use behavioural interventions to improve efficiency and reduce waste in health care services. 
  • Led by Chris Perry, Ipsos MORI.
  • Completed in late 2015.

'Behavioural insights' or 'nudge theory' combine lessons from behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience to better understand how humans behave and make decisions in everyday life.

The approach emphasises that behaviour is often influenced by "automatic" responses to the environment, and that small targeted changes to the context or presentation of choices can lead to important and impactful changes in behaviour.

The guiding review questions are:

  1. What low cost and scalable behavioural interventions have demonstrated the greatest impact in terms of desirable behaviour change in health public policy and beyond?
     
  2. What evidence is there of the successful application of low cost and scalable behavioural interventions in healthcare systems and health service delivery?
     
  3. What low cost and scalable behavioural interventions offer the greatest opportunities for desirable behaviour change in the healthcare system and health service delivery?

This research combined expert opinion and literature on behavioural insights and interventions that have the potential to be applied successfully, and are currently being applied, to staff, provider, patient and population interaction with the healthcare system and health service delivery in ways that can reduce inefficiency and waste.

The research completed in late 2015. You can read the findings of the work in our report Behavioural insights in health care

Contact details

For more information about this project, please contact Darshan Patel, Research Manager at the Health Foundation, and Chris Perry, Associate Director, Ipsos MORI.

Further reading

Research report

Behavioural insights in health care

This evidence review explores nudge-type interventions with potential to increase efficiency and reduce waste in health care.

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