Understand how we got here — and how to move forward.



What health care stakeholders can gain from consumer behavior change

The term “behavior change” refers to the long-term alteration of habits. It is a major part of the marketing field, where marketers try to influence purchasing decisions by inflecting consumer behavior. Behavior change is also important in the field of behavioral medicine, where it is used to improve health outcomes by engaging the patient in preventing, managing, and/or treating diseases and disabilities.

Key health care stakeholders, such as providers and payers, increasingly see behavior change as a tool for unlocking better health outcomes, making it a hot topic beyond the psychology field. Traditional wisdom holds that patients have ownership over their health-related behaviors, such as following their medication regimen or seeing their primary care doctor regularly. But it’s important to note that other health care stakeholders can also play a role in driving patient behaviors.

For stakeholders to leverage their influence successfully, they need to understand which patient behavior changes to prioritize. This research helps with that prioritization by detailing which patient behaviors have been shown to achieve stakeholder goals.

This three part series will cover what we did, what we found, and our parting thoughts on next steps.

What health care stakeholders can gain from consumer behavior change

Part 1: What we did

We conducted a meta-analysis, sifting through 50+ studies (a majority of which were published in the last five years) that focus on the impact of health-related behavior changes to identify which patient behaviors have the greatest evidence of impact on stakeholder goals. This article will cover:

  • Our methodology
  • An overview of behavior change impact evidence

Part 2: What we found

The stakeholders we considered in our meta-analysis were:

  • Health systems
  • Payers
  • Employers
  • Pharmaceutical companies/pharmacies
  • Physicians
  • Other life sciences companies (suppliers, device)

At the onset of this research, we surveyed 20 Advisory Board research leaders to represent our members, including provider and non-provider organizations (e.g., health plans, pharmaceutical companies), on the types of behavior changes we should study. We identified three categories of behavior changes to cover:

  1. Preventive care behavior changes
  2. Episodic care behavior changes
  3. Chronic care behavior changes

Part 3: Parting thoughts

Evidence of the impacts of patient behavior change on stakeholder goals varied by stakeholder, revealing that some groups may have more to gain than others across different behavior changes. This article will cover:

  • What was missing?
  • Where do we go from here?
In this series

Check out parts 1-3 of our series on what health care stakeholders can gain from consumer behavior change:

Part 1: What we did
Part 2: What we found
Part 3: Parting thoughts

Have a Question?


Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.