The psychology of behaviour change in relation to patients and health care professionals
This module will cover the scientific basis of behaviour change and how scientific principles (chiefly from psychology) can be harnessed to address patient behaviour (for example, how best to support lifestyle interventions) and professional behaviour (for example, improving adherence to evidence-based guidelines).
As well as introducing key theoretical perspectives in behavioural science, this module will also have a strong empirical component in which you will apply behavioural theories to inform the development of complex interventions and consider how these might be implemented and tested in practice. You will consider the tension between laboratory research on behaviour and the complexity of real-world action, and how to address that complexity in analysis and intervention.
The module will also examine how behavioural insights can be used in health policy (for example, ‘nudge’ interventions to influence population behaviour). You will explore case studies of behaviour change efforts in translational science, and how behavioural insights can improve risk management and patient safety. You will be able to share real-world case studies from your own experience.
Guest lectures will include speakers from health policy perspectives such as the Behavioural Insights Team in the UK Cabinet Office.
The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 17th November 2023. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.
On completion of this module, we expect our students to be able to:
- Give a critical account of the main concepts and theories in behavioural science relevant to influencing the actions of patients, citizens and health professionals
- Apply these theories to the development and testing of complex interventions
- Explain, using both theoretical and empirical evidence, why efforts to change behaviour are often unsuccessful
- Suggest how the link between policy and practice could become more evidence-based
Research methods and techniques taught in this module:
- Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods for behavioural science
- Identifying behavioural dimensions to research (such as clinical trials) and practice (such as organisational change)
- Choosing research methods for behavioural science and the challenges of validity for health and health care
- Development and testing of complex interventions
Examples of case studies to be discussed in this module:
- Behavioural science applied to obesity-related behaviours and complex interventions for weight control
- Behavioural science applied to management of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic prescribing