How to Nudge People Into Getting Tested for the Coronavirus

in A randomized clinical trial Nearly 5,000 emergency room patients, researchers found, that the share of patients willing to take an HIV test rapidly climbed from 38 percent to 66 percent when the test was presented as a medical service, in which they intentionally declined. , Instead of constantly asking for one.

Likewise, coronovirus screening programs are likely to see wider participation if they opt-out rather than opt-in. Derek Reid, who directed applied behavioral economics at the University of Kansas, Derek Reed, said, “The more people you are likely to put into your own cognitive efforts and behavioral efforts, the less they are going to do it. “

And, of course, the actual testing process should be quick and convenient, experts say, with strategically located test sites and streamlined processes that allow people to easily incorporate testing into their routines.

Experts also suggested that people be asked to think through logistics when and how they plan to test. Studies show that people who clearly have a plan for how they want to accomplish something – whether it is Voting in upcoming election or Getting a flu vaccine – More likely to be follow-through.

One possibility, Drs. There will be text to remind people of their test appointments, Reid said, and ask them to respond, saying, 1 if they plan to walk to the appointment, 2 if they plan to drive Or a 3 if they plan to take the bus. “And then depending on the response, you just automatically ping back Google Maps instructions or links to campus or community bus system maps or timetables,” he said.

This type of elbow is likely to be most effective for those who are already tempted to undergo tests but may have trouble later. “Often you just need to do little by removing friction to get rid of these small costs,” said Sebastian Linmeyer, a behaviorist economist at Rand Corporation, a think tank in California.

Health officials can also reward those who participate in testing programs. “Perhaps some type of encouragement is needed at the patient level,” Drs. I said. “We have seen the same thing in cancer screening. We have seen that health insurers provide incentives for patients to participate in healthy lifestyle, screening measures. “

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