Systematic approaches to designing effective behaviour change interventions to impact health
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Effective interventions are needed to change a range of behaviors which impact on health outcomes. A number of frameworks and methodological tools have been produced within the last ten years to encourage more systematic approaches to intervention development. For example, the UK Medical Research Council’s framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions emphasizes the importance of building interventions using an evidence-based, theory-driven approach, and modelling and piloting intervention processes to ensure feasibility and suitability. Other frameworks, such as the Behavior Change Wheel, the Theoretical Domains Framework and Intervention Mapping are examples of tools which aim to promote systematic approaches. In this symposium, we aim to show-case four examples of approaches taken by different research teams to systematically developing behavioral interventions. In the first presentation, the Behavior Change Wheel is used to develop an intervention to improve implementation of sexual counselling guidelines in hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation. In the second, a multi-method approach, based on the Intervention Mapping Protocol, is used to design, implement and evaluate an executive function training intervention to reduce unhealthy eating behavior. In the third, a systematic approach to test behavior change theory is used to develop a digital intervention for weight loss maintenance. In the fourth, an N-of-1 methodology is used, in combination with the theoretical domains framework and qualitative interviews, to develop an intervention for people with a rare skin disease, xeroderma pigmentosum. Following these, the discussant will summarize and compare approaches and will facilitate a discussion about key learning from these shared experiences.
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