Loss aversion and hospital appointments

Intervention · Health

Targeted messaging and it’s impact in reducing missed appointment

Intervention Description

Missed health care appointments are a large cost for a government health care system. To lessen these effects in the UK, researchers used a variety of text message reminders with different, behaviorally influenced messages. They found that messages that discussed the costs of missing an appointment were the most effective. They then used different variants of messages: messages that discussed the costs, messages that discussed the costs more generally, messages that appeal to empathy or messages that tell the patient that their absence would be recorded. The most effective method was simply to discuss the specific costs, which reduced rates of missing appointments by 2.7%.


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