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Professor Laurence Moore - Director of the Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow - gave a talk at the University of St Andrews (13/02/2014).
Behaviour change research is largely concerned with the detailed study of individual level behaviour change mechanisms with the goal of identifying interventions which, when delivered in a standardised way to receptive participants, can be highly efficacious in achieving behaviour change. However, translating such interventions into policy and practice is challenging and does not necessarily achieve the desired effects. In this presentation, I will discuss a number of perspectives which illuminate why this might be the case, and identify suggestions for future research. Perspectives will include:
1) Concepts, models and frameworks such as dual process theory, complexity theory and the socio-ecological framework are consistently supported by reviews of effectiveness across diverse behavioural domains in suggesting that many of the critical determinants of behaviour lie outside the individual in the social, environmental, organisational, community, policy contexts within which people live their lives, both by directly influencing behaviour or by more indirectly creating the conditions for behaviour change or reinforcement.
2) As a response to a focus on efficacy, the RE-AIM framework is based on the notion that a research agenda to improve public health might additionally aim to determine the characteristics of interventions / policies / programmes that can: reach large numbers of people, especially those who can most benefit; be widely adopted by different settings; be consistently implemented by staff members with moderate levels of training and expertise; be maintained to achieve replicable and long-lasting effects (and minimal negative impacts) at reasonable cost (Glasgow RE et al Am J Public Health. 2003;93:1261–1267).
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