Nag, nag, nag: It works

No shocker here: A pretty good study from the US presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Heart Association found that nagging works to get people to do stuff that they may not do otherwise, which in this case was to take their statin drug the way it was prescribed.

Background here is that for people with established heart disease, statin drugs can substantially cut the risk of a heart attack, especially for people who’ve already had such an attack.

Yet studies show that the number of people in this risk category who actually take their statin as prescribed is in the single digits.

So what the people running the ENCOURAGE trial in the US did was devise a way to bug those high-risk people into taking their statin by texting, emailing and even phoning them.

And as you’d expect this “nudging” (which I think is better called “coercing via a guilt response”, a tactic that a Jewish man like me is intimately familiar with since he’s been the target of this kind of ‘encouragement” way more often than he would have liked) works, so that people who were nudged about their statin drug managed to cover themselves with a pill about 80 % of the time, which is considered a very good response given how frequently most of us do not take our drugs as prescribed.

But better yet: Instead of subjecting yourself to nudging from a an often-less-than-sympathetic partner, why not just take your drugs the way your supposed to?

Trust me, it leads to more happiness that way.