One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is getting people to change behavior or as Express Scripts would frame it – activating intent. Since approximately 75% of healthcare costs are due to preventable conditions, it’s important that we can help people see the future value of change. People often discount that future value of change based on the amount of effort required to get there. They see the short-term pain not the long-term gain.
A new study puts an interesting perspective on this. It shows that people can generally see the amount of change they’ve made in the past decade, but they fail to realize that change will continue for the next decade. They appear to see themselves as stable at the current moment without significant change in the future. I believe this is really important as we think about Motivational Interviewing techniques and communications for engaging consumers.
So, as you think about behavior change in healthcare for things like diabetes, you will likely continue to see more and more emphasis on behavior change and research in this area (see example from RWJF last year or Cigna whitepaper).
To learn more about this topic of behavior economics, you might look a few places:
And, here’s a good list of books to start with.