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Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

Reducing Waste in Research: Use of Taxonomies and Frameworks of Behaviour Change

March 7, 2016
Susan Michie
Susan Michie, B.A., M.Phil., D.Phil., C.Psychol., AcSS, FEHPsS, FBPsS

Professor of Health Psychology
Centre for Behaviour Change
University College London

About the Webinar

Interventions to change behavior have great potential to improve health and well-being. Despite some notable successes, interventions continue to have variable and modest effects, and we do not make maximum use of research evidence. We need better answers to "The Big Question": What interventions are effective in changing what behaviors, for whom, in what circumstances, and how? This will be helped by more systematic, reliable, and shared frameworks for (i) specifying intervention details and (ii) organizing, and thus efficiently accumulating, research evidence.

This presentation describes a method for specifying the "active ingredients" of interventions. Such a method allows data pooling to identify effective component techniques. Dr. Michie also presents a systematic method for developing interventions, linking a "behavioral diagnosis" of the behavior needing to be changed with general strategies and specific techniques.

Finally, the presentation introduces work building on this method to create an "ontology" of behavior change interventions that can link interventions (content and delivery), usage (extent and type), context (target population, other behaviors, setting), mechanisms of action (modifiable factors mediating behavior change), and behavioral outcomes. To this end, Dr. Michie describes currently developing taxonomies of modes of delivery, mechanisms of action, and behaviors.

(Please see Dr. Michie's article in the journal of Health Technology Assessment on behavior change techniques as well as her book The Behavior Change Wheel).

About Susan Michie

Susan Michie is Professor of Health Psychology, Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, and Co-Director of UK's National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training.

She studied Experimental Psychology and completed a DPhil in Developmental Psychology at Oxford University and clinical psychology training at the Institute of Psychiatry, London University. She is a chartered clinical and health psychologist, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS), and the British Psychological Society (BPS). She is Past President of the EHPS and Past Chair of the BPS's Division of Health Psychology. She is a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator and leads part of UK's School for Public Health Research. Current editorial responsibilities include Associate Editor of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and of Implementation Science.

Susan Michie's research focuses on behavior change in relation to health: how to understand it theoretically and apply theory to intervention development, evaluation, and implementation, and to evidence synthesis. Her research investigating innovative methods for developing, evaluating, and implementing behavioral interventions is conducted in two main health domains: professional practice (e.g., the implementation of evidence-based guidelines), and risk factors amongst the general population.

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