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      Theories of behaviour and behaviour change across the social and behavioural sciences: a scoping review

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          Abstract

          Interventions to change health-related behaviours typically have modest effects and may be more effective if grounded in appropriate theory. Most theories applied to public health interventions tend to emphasise individual capabilities and motivation, with limited reference to context and social factors. Intervention effectiveness may be increased by drawing on a wider range of theories incorporating social, cultural and economic factors that influence behaviour. The primary aim of this paper is to identify theories of behaviour and behaviour change of potential relevance to public health interventions across four scientific disciplines: psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics. We report in detail the methodology of our scoping review used to identify these theories including which involved a systematic search of electronic databases, consultation with a multidisciplinary advisory group, web searching, searching of reference lists and hand searching of key behavioural science journals. Of secondary interest we developed a list of agreed criteria for judging the quality of the theories. We identified 82 theories and 9 criteria for assessing theory quality. The potential relevance of this wide-ranging number of theories to public health interventions and the ease and usefulness of evaluating the theories in terms of the quality criteria are however yet to be determined.

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          Most cited references 92

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          Developing and evaluating complex interventions: the new Medical Research Council guidance

          Evaluating complex interventions is complicated. The Medical Research Council's evaluation framework (2000) brought welcome clarity to the task. Now the council has updated its guidance
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            A Theory of Social Comparison Processes

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              Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000.

               Ali Mokdad (2004)
              Modifiable behavioral risk factors are leading causes of mortality in the United States. Quantifying these will provide insight into the effects of recent trends and the implications of missed prevention opportunities. To identify and quantify the leading causes of mortality in the United States. Comprehensive MEDLINE search of English-language articles that identified epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies linking risk behaviors and mortality. The search was initially restricted to articles published during or after 1990, but we later included relevant articles published in 1980 to December 31, 2002. Prevalence and relative risk were identified during the literature search. We used 2000 mortality data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify the causes and number of deaths. The estimates of cause of death were computed by multiplying estimates of the cause-attributable fraction of preventable deaths with the total mortality data. Actual causes of death. The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435 000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (365 000 deaths; 15.2%) [corrected], and alcohol consumption (85 000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75 000), toxic agents (55 000), motor vehicle crashes (43 000), incidents involving firearms (29 000), sexual behaviors (20 000), and illicit use of drugs (17 000). These analyses show that smoking remains the leading cause of mortality. However, poor diet and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. These findings, along with escalating health care costs and aging population, argue persuasively that the need to establish a more preventive orientation in the US health care and public health systems has become more urgent.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [ a ]Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London , London, UK
                [ b ]School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol , Bristol, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Email: s.michie@ 123456ucl.ac.uk
                Journal
                Health Psychol Rev
                Health Psychol Rev
                RHPR
                rhpr20
                Health Psychology Review
                Routledge
                1743-7199
                1743-7202
                7 August 2015
                8 August 2014
                : 9
                : 3
                : 323-344
                25104107 4566873 941722 10.1080/17437199.2014.941722
                © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis

                This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 83, Pages: 22
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                Funding
                Funding: This project was funded by the Medical Research Council's Population Health Sciences Research Network [grant number PHSRN10]. The work was undertaken with the support of The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), a UKCRC Public Health Research: Centre of Excellence. Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council [RES-590-28-0005], Medical Research Council, the Welsh Government and the Wellcome Trust [WT087640MA], under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged.
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