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Behaviour change interventions: getting in touch with individual differences, values and emotions

Behaviour change interventions: getting in touch with individual differences, values and emotions
Behaviour change interventions: getting in touch with individual differences, values and emotions
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggest that behaviour change interventions have modest effect sizes, struggle to demonstrate effect in the long term, and that there is high heterogeneity between studies. Such interventions take huge effort to design and to run for relatively small returns in terms of changes to behaviour.
So why do behaviour change interventions not work and how can we make them more effective? This paper offers some ideas about what may underpin the failure of behaviour change interventions. We propose three main reasons that may explain why our current methods of conducting behaviour change interventions struggle to achieve the changes we expect: 1) our current model for testing the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions tends to a mean effect size. This ignores individual differences in response to interventions; 2) our interventions tend to assume that everyone values health in the way we do as health professionals; and 3) the great majority of our interventions focus on addressing cognitions as mechanisms of change. We appeal to people’s logic and rationality rather than recognising that much of what we do and how we behave, including our health behaviours, is governed as much by how we feel and how engaged we are emotionally as it is with what we plan and intend to do.
Drawing on our team’s experience of developing multiple interventions to promote and support health behaviour change with a variety of populations in different global contexts, this article explores strategies with potential to address these issues.
Adolescents, behaviour change, diet and physical activity, interventions, motivation, women
589-598
Strommer, Sofia
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Lawrence, Wendy
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Shaw, Sarah
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Correia Simao, Sara
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Jenner, Sarah
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Barrett, Millie
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Vogel, Christina
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Hardy-Johnson, Polly
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Farrell, David
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Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
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Baird, Janis
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Morrison, Leanne
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Sloboda, Deborah M.
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Inskip, Hazel
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Barker, Mary
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Strommer, Sofia
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Lawrence, Wendy
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Shaw, Sarah
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Correia Simao, Sara
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Jenner, Sarah
6de57ea6-89f7-4bed-8e76-bad5ed5957e8
Barrett, Millie
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Vogel, Christina
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Hardy-Johnson, Polly
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Farrell, David
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Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
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Baird, Janis
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Morrison, Leanne
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Sloboda, Deborah M.
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Inskip, Hazel
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Barker, Mary
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Strommer, Sofia, Lawrence, Wendy, Shaw, Sarah, Correia Simao, Sara, Jenner, Sarah, Barrett, Millie, Vogel, Christina, Hardy-Johnson, Polly, Farrell, David, Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Baird, Janis, Morrison, Leanne, Sloboda, Deborah M., Inskip, Hazel and Barker, Mary (2020) Behaviour change interventions: getting in touch with individual differences, values and emotions. Journal of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 11 (6), 589-598. (doi:10.1017/S2040174420000604).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggest that behaviour change interventions have modest effect sizes, struggle to demonstrate effect in the long term, and that there is high heterogeneity between studies. Such interventions take huge effort to design and to run for relatively small returns in terms of changes to behaviour.
So why do behaviour change interventions not work and how can we make them more effective? This paper offers some ideas about what may underpin the failure of behaviour change interventions. We propose three main reasons that may explain why our current methods of conducting behaviour change interventions struggle to achieve the changes we expect: 1) our current model for testing the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions tends to a mean effect size. This ignores individual differences in response to interventions; 2) our interventions tend to assume that everyone values health in the way we do as health professionals; and 3) the great majority of our interventions focus on addressing cognitions as mechanisms of change. We appeal to people’s logic and rationality rather than recognising that much of what we do and how we behave, including our health behaviours, is governed as much by how we feel and how engaged we are emotionally as it is with what we plan and intend to do.
Drawing on our team’s experience of developing multiple interventions to promote and support health behaviour change with a variety of populations in different global contexts, this article explores strategies with potential to address these issues.

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StrommerS_Behavioural change interventions_Main_Manuscript_revised - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 31 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 July 2020
Keywords: Adolescents, behaviour change, diet and physical activity, interventions, motivation, women

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441298
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441298
PURE UUID: ce6e8a50-d0cd-4ca3-9e70-d0eca3448a6b
ORCID for Wendy Lawrence: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-0438
ORCID for Sarah Shaw: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2206-6858
ORCID for Christina Vogel: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3897-3786
ORCID for Kathryn Woods-Townsend: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3376-6988
ORCID for Janis Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361
ORCID for Leanne Morrison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9961-551X
ORCID for Hazel Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749
ORCID for Mary Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 07:17

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Contributors

Author: Sofia Strommer
Author: Wendy Lawrence ORCID iD
Author: Sarah Shaw ORCID iD
Author: Sara Correia Simao
Author: Sarah Jenner
Author: Millie Barrett
Author: Christina Vogel ORCID iD
Author: Polly Hardy-Johnson
Author: David Farrell
Author: Janis Baird ORCID iD
Author: Leanne Morrison ORCID iD
Author: Deborah M. Sloboda
Author: Hazel Inskip ORCID iD
Author: Mary Barker ORCID iD

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