Using theories of behaviour change to inform interventions for addictive behaviours
Article first published online: 29 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 105, Issue 11, pages 1879–1892, November 2010
How to Cite
Webb, T. L., Sniehotta, F. F. and Michie, S. (2010), Using theories of behaviour change to inform interventions for addictive behaviours. Addiction, 105: 1879–1892. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03028.x
- Issue published online: 29 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 29 JUL 2010
- Submitted 17 July 2009; initial review completed 18 September 2009; final version accepted 18 March 2010
- behaviour change;
Aims This paper reviews a set of theories of behaviour change that are used outside the field of addiction and considers their relevance for this field.
Methods Ten theories are reviewed in terms of (i) the main tenets of each theory, (ii) the implications of the theory for promoting change in addictive behaviours and (iii) studies in the field of addiction that have used the theory. An augmented feedback loop model based on Control Theory is used to organize the theories and to show how different interventions might achieve behaviour change.
Results Briefly, each theory provided the following recommendations for intervention: Control Theory: prompt behavioural monitoring, Goal-Setting Theory: set specific and challenging goals, Model of Action Phases: form ‘implementation intentions’, Strength Model of Self-Control: bolster self-control resources, Social Cognition Models (Protection Motivation Theory, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Health Belief Model): modify relevant cognitions, Elaboration Likelihood Model: consider targets' motivation and ability to process information, Prototype Willingness Model: change perceptions of the prototypical person who engages in behaviour and Social Cognitive Theory: modify self-efficacy.
Conclusions There are a range of theories in the field of behaviour change that can be applied usefully to addiction, each one pointing to a different set of modifiable determinants and/or behaviour change techniques. Studies reporting interventions should describe theoretical basis, behaviour change techniques and mode of delivery accurately so that effective interventions can be understood and replicated.