Will it nudge: A feasibility study of PCC nudging to increase uptake of PCC practice

Research project
Inactive research
Project period
2020 - 2022
Project owner
The Institute of Health and Care Sciences

University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care GPCC

Short description

The purpose of this study was to understand if and how nudging can be used to help healthcare professionals implement person-centred care (PCC).
The input to the project was that we had not found any studies where nudging was used to increase uptake of PCC. The purpose of the project was therefore to map nudging within healthcare via a systematic overview, and to create an intervention study to investigate the effects of nudging within the implementation of PCC. The project was divided into two broader systematic reviews and a smaller narrative literature review with a focus on co19. The results clearly showed the value of using nudging in health care and something that should researchers closer to implementing PCC.

Short Description of main results

What is nudging? Nudging defines as “any aspect of designing choices that changed people's behavior in a predictable way without prohibiting any options or significantly changing their economic incentives”.

Can nudging be used to facilitate PCC implementation? Understanding the behavioral nature of decision-making is essential for designing processes that mitigate risks and improve the quality of care. It is therefore important that clinical decisions are supported by accurate, timely and up-to-date clinical information and reflect the best available evidence to achieve the best patient outcomes. In an ideal world, clinicians would base their decisions on scientific evidence and best practice, but these decisions are affected by emotional and cognitive biases. Here nudging can be a valuable tool to overcome these biases. In our literature reviews, we have shown how different nudging strategies can be used to minimize the risks of these biases and achieve better patient care. In our reviews, we were able to identify thirteen different nudging strategies that aimed to modify four types of behavior of healthcare professionals: prescriptions and orders, procedure, hand hygiene and vaccination. The majority of the interventions were positive and thus ensured more evidence-based and patient-safe care.

Published scientific articles

Wolf A, Sant’Anna A, Vilhelmsson A. (2022). Using nudges to promote clinical decision making of healthcare professionals: A scoping review. Preventive Medicine; 164: 107320. Wolf A, Sant’Anna A, Vilhelmsson A. Using nudges to promote clinical decision making of healthcare professionals: A scoping review. Preventive Medicine; 164: 107320.

Vilhelmsson A, Sant’Anna A, & Wolf A. (2021). Nudging healthcare professionals to improve treatment of COVID-19: a narrative review. BMJ Open Quality ;10:e001522.

Sant’Anna A, Vilhelmsson A & Wolf A. (2021). Nudging healthcare professionals in clinical settings: a scoping review of the literature. BMC Health Services Research; 21:543,


Axel Wolf, senior lecturer/nurse, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Andreas Vilhelmsson, Researcher, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg; Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University.

Anita Sant'Anna, Viniam Consulting, Halmstad.