How does ‘nudge psychology’ improve outcomes for patients?

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Nudge psychology, also known as behavioural economics, is a field of study that explores how people make decisions and how they can be influenced to make better choices. It draws on insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience to design interventions that “nudge” individuals towards particular behaviours without restricting their freedom of choice.

We all know how hard it can be to motivate yourself to make changes to your lifestyle that are required for health. Old habits are hard to break and creating new habits requires motivation. 

In healthcare, nudge psychology has been used to encourage patients to comply with care plans, which can include taking medications, attending follow-up appointments, or making lifestyle changes. By understanding the underlying reasons why patients may not follow their care plans, healthcare providers can design interventions that nudge patients towards more favourable behaviours.

An example of a simple nudge intervention used in daily life is the sending of reminder text messages to patients before their scheduled appointment. This small reminder can help patients remember to attend their appointment, reducing the likelihood of missed appointments and the associated negative health outcomes.

While this simple nudge intervention has shown to reduce missed appointments in a range of healthcare settings, for some patients, a text is often not enough. They need more.

Gather Group technology layers the benefits of nudge psychology on top of the benefits of social networks. We integrate both of these powerful motivators to help patients engage in the behaviours recommended to them by their clinical teams to support their ongoing treatment and/or recovery.

The informed support and engagement of close friends and family can play a significant role in whether patients initiate, and stick to, their appointment schedule, care plan, and recommended behavioural changes.

So, while traditional nudge interventions may send a reminder to the patient, the Gather Group app can notify everyone in a patient’s inner circle that they have an upcoming appointment. These personal connections can then help motivate the patient to get to their appointment and even arrange the transport if required. Through the use of personal support networks, the Gather Group app extends the level of support patients have available to them.

In this way, Gather Group takes ‘nudge psychology’ and super-charges the benefits by integrating the undeniable sense of love and connection that comes from knowing that there are people in your life who have ‘got your back’.

Everything seems easier when the load is shared.

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