Gotcha! GPs 'nudged' to behave in a certain way

Researchers aimed to deter GPs from ordering imaging or prescribing specific drugs

Nudge economics got a bad name among some GPs after the theory inspired the federal Department of Health to send letters to high antibiotic or opioid prescribers to “nudge” them into cutting back.


Nudging exploits psychology to encourage behavioural change. In this case, letters showing the rates of antibiotic prescribing by peers were found to be more effective than simply warning doctors they are relatively high prescribers.

Now researchers from the University of Sydney have nudged GPs to ‘choose wisely’ for low back pain.