The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?

Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?
Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?
Objective: To demonstrate that six common errors made in attempts to change behaviour have prevented the implementation of the scientific evidence base derived from psychology and sociology; to suggest a new approach which incorporates recent developments in the behavioural sciences.

Study design: The role of health behaviours in the origin of the current epidemic of non-communicable disease is observed to have driven attempts to change behaviour. It is noted that most efforts to change health behaviours have had limited success. This paper suggests that in policy-making, discussions about behaviour change are subject to six common errors and that these errors have made the business of health-related behaviour change much more difficult than it needs to be.

Methods: Overview of policy and practice attempts to change health-related behaviour.

Results: The reasons why knowledge and learning about behaviour have made so little progress in alcohol, dietary and physical inactivity-related disease prevention are considered, and an alternative way of thinking about the behaviours involved is suggested. This model harnesses recent developments in the behavioural sciences.

Conclusion: It is important to understand the conditions preceding behaviour psychologically and sociologically and to combine psychological ideas about the automatic and reflective systems with sociological ideas about social practice.
1-8
Kelly, Michael P.
b7896f7f-8989-4045-b9a7-c257c82c07e8
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Kelly, Michael P.
b7896f7f-8989-4045-b9a7-c257c82c07e8
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2

Kelly, Michael P. and Barker, Mary (2016) Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult? Public Health, 1-8. (doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2016.03.030). (PMID:27184821)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: To demonstrate that six common errors made in attempts to change behaviour have prevented the implementation of the scientific evidence base derived from psychology and sociology; to suggest a new approach which incorporates recent developments in the behavioural sciences.

Study design: The role of health behaviours in the origin of the current epidemic of non-communicable disease is observed to have driven attempts to change behaviour. It is noted that most efforts to change health behaviours have had limited success. This paper suggests that in policy-making, discussions about behaviour change are subject to six common errors and that these errors have made the business of health-related behaviour change much more difficult than it needs to be.

Methods: Overview of policy and practice attempts to change health-related behaviour.

Results: The reasons why knowledge and learning about behaviour have made so little progress in alcohol, dietary and physical inactivity-related disease prevention are considered, and an alternative way of thinking about the behaviours involved is suggested. This model harnesses recent developments in the behavioural sciences.

Conclusion: It is important to understand the conditions preceding behaviour psychologically and sociologically and to combine psychological ideas about the automatic and reflective systems with sociological ideas about social practice.

Text
Kelly Barker Revised version January 2016 untracked w MB.docx - Accepted Manuscript
Download (103kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 May 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 394822
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394822
PURE UUID: 07db9f73-e8c6-453e-8541-8f7f137484a3
ORCID for Mary Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 May 2016 11:43
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 06:48

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Michael P. Kelly
Author: Mary Barker ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×