Author: Mark Conner Date: 13 July 2011 Impact Report
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Testing the efficacy and mechanisms of collaborative implementation intentions
Recent research indicates that asking people to plan in advance of action, when, where and how to perform behaviour for themselves, enhances the probability of action. This manipulation or ‘implementation intentions’, has been shown to increase the likelihood that various behaviours are performed. However, the long-term efficacy of this technique has rarely been tested, and where it has, the results have been mixed. Moreover, there have been few attempts to strengthen the impact of this manipulation.
Termed ‘collaborative implementation intentions’, Prestwich et al. (2005) modified standard implementation intention interventions by requiring individuals to decide, with another person, the context in which they will enact behaviour together. In this study, collaborative implementation intentions were particularly effective in promoting breast self-examinations over one month.
The current research will examine the efficacy of individual verses collaborative implementation intentions in promoting two health behaviours. Furthermore, the mechanisms through which the interventions change behaviour will be examined in order to design and develop new, effective health behaviour strategies in the future. The research will employ two randomized controlled trials, focused on exercise promotion and the reduction of high-fat food intake, in samples of council workers over a six month period.