Nudging in Animal Disease Control and Surveillance: A Qualitative Approach to Identify Strategies Used to Improve Compliance With Animal Health Policies

Garza, Maria and Ågren, Estelle C. C. and Lindberg, Ann (2020) Nudging in Animal Disease Control and Surveillance: A Qualitative Approach to Identify Strategies Used to Improve Compliance With Animal Health Policies. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7. ISSN 2297-1769

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00383

Abstract

Professionals from seven European countries were interviewed to identify strategies used in the surveillance and control of animal infections to influence behaviors such as program enrollment, adoption of biosecurity measures, and engagement in surveillance. To find strategies that were well-designed from a theoretical perspective, three frameworks from nudge theory were applied to the strategies: the Nuffield ladder to determine the strength of the interventions, EAST to identify attributes of the strategies, and MINDSPACE to identify the psychological mechanisms involved. We found that almost two thirds (91/120) of the strategies were designed in a manner likely to trigger multiple psychological mechanisms, which is in line with the existing recommendations for successful effect, i.e., achieving a desired behavior. This was despite that the design of the strategies was based on professionals' empirical understanding of the requirements to achieve anticipated outcomes rather than the systematic use of methods from the behavioral sciences and psychology. The most commonly used strategy was provision of information, and the least used mechanism was making a desired behavior easy to perform. The findings in this study, with all the examples of strategies used, can serve as inspiration for others. The theoretical frameworks may also be beneficial to apply as a complement in future design of new strategies. This study did not include evaluation of how efficient different strategies have been, which would be an interesting area for future studies.

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