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Psychol Health. 2013;28(6):653-74. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2012.744008. Epub 2013 Jan 2.

Patients' and practitioners' views on health behaviour change: a qualitative study.

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Research and Development Directorate, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England.



This study was designed to examine patients' and health professionals' perspectives on lifestyle behaviour change and to inform the development of a lifestyle behaviour change intervention to be used in primary care.


Focus groups were conducted with seven patients and 13 health professionals where they were asked to discuss lifestyle behaviour change in relation to the design and development phase of a tailored lifestyle behaviour change intervention package.


An inductive thematic analysis of transcripts suggested a range of issues that are relevant to the development and implementation of lifestyle change interventions such as time, lack of resources and starting interventions too late, as well as personal circumstances and the continuous effort that behaviour change requires. They were interpreted as two superordinate themes of 'internal and external influences on behaviour change' and 'behaviour change initiation and maintenance'. The results are discussed in relation to the implications they may have for researchers and health service commissioners designing interventions and practitioners implementing lifestyle change interventions in primary care.


Many factors are involved in patients' and health care professionals' understanding of interventions and lifestyle behaviour change. These should be taken into consideration when designing interventions based on behaviour change theories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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