Case study: How we used behavioural economic theory to reveal fresh insights into patient compliance


The challenge

Previous research with physicians and nurses did not shed any light on why patients may not fill repeat prescription, nor did they believe there was an issue with compliance. Our client believed the specialist nurse would be key to ensuring patients did fill a repeat prescription and maintain compliant.

behavioural economic theory to reveal fresh insights into patient compliance- Oct 18
behavioural economic theory to reveal fresh insights into patient compliance- Oct 18


The challenge

Previous research with physicians and nurses did not shed any light on why patients may not fill repeat prescription, nor did they believe there was an issue with compliance. Our client believed the specialist nurse would be key to ensuring patients did fill a repeat prescription and maintain compliant.

The solution
It was obvious from previous research conducted by clients that asking direct questions to the nurses about compliance issues would not provide the insights required as they were in denial or ignorant to the potential problems faced by patients. We needed a methodology that could both challenge their beliefs but also provide access to the reality of their actual relationship with patients, rather than the rationalised explanations they had previously given to the clients in previous research. We proposed then a suite of techniques with nurses to provide the insights required – utilising where required the tenants of behavioural economics. In addition we felt it was essential to talk and engage with patients to truly understand the issues they faced that could impact on compliance.

The outputs
Our approach led to new insights and a programme of communication pieces is now being developed to aid nurse understanding about the treatment, how to discuss benefits to patients and how to spot potential non-compliance.  Quotes and visuals collected from patients are being used to demonstrate the importance of accurate and clear communication with patients.

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