Exploring physician altruism to improve quality of care


  • Dr Mylene Lagarde

    London School of Economics and Political Science

Project summary

Ensuring that doctors consistently deliver high-quality care, while also being good value for money, is a primary concern of all governments. Interventions have mostly used ‘carrot-and-stick’ approaches by tying financial rewards or sanctions to quality indicators or publicising doctors’ quality performance. Relying on doctors' altruism –  the idea that doctors care for the welfare of their patients without the need for incentives – has been underexplored in regulatory practice and academic research.

We propose to examine if and how altruism influences doctors’ clinical choices and their response to performance feedback. This intervention relies neither on financial incentives nor on doctors’ concerns for their reputation. 

The study will provide novel evidence on the influence of altruism in clinical practice, and how it could be used in the design of cost-effective care quality regulations.