Creating behavioural change through incremental, small steps
In this latest episode of the pharmaphorum podcast, web editor Nicole Raleigh speaks with Sarah Watters, senior consultant at Wellth, a company devoted to improving the health of people with chronic conditions by embracing, not denying, humanity.
Indeed, Wellth aims to enable healthcare to create the lasting change it intends, uncovering and addressing the root cause of care plan non-adherence and leveraging the science of behavioural economics to motivate members.
From a long-standing interest in health and healthcare decision-making, Watters describes her journey into health and behaviour economics, with a focus on complex, chronically ill patients, and explains just how critical an issue patient non-adherence is, both for the medical community and society more generally.
Access to care and the ability to pay for repeated medications being just a couple of factors that can lead to non-adherence, Watters explains that side effects from treatments can also cause hesitancy in a patient taking a prescribed medicine. However, she maintains that ‘knowledge is not half the battle’ – education will only go so far and misconceptions around why change happens need to be addressed, also. Context is fundamental.
For, change happens through incremental, small steps, Watters asserts. Everyone has different lives and different circumstances in which they carry out their individual behaviours – there really is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. With an especial focus on diabetes patients, Watters mentions also the substantial mental stress that such a diagnosis causes.
Additionally, the conversation touches upon the digital health and technology aspects of Wellth, including embedded care within its app, and how such innovations both help and can hinder matters of equity and accessibility.
After all, health is wealth.
You can listen to episode 95a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it - and subscribe to the rest of the series - in iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Podbean.