Advancing the Science of Behaviour Change: Methods and Theories

Facilitated by: Susan Michie, Falko Sniehotta and David French.
This year's CREATE workshop had the following objectives:
  • To increase understanding of
  1. principles of good science within health psychology
  2. applying theory to intervention development and evaluation
  3. methods of theory testing and development
  • To enable the application of this understanding to current and future research
  • To foster ongoing collaboration between participants

Learning took place through a combination of prior reading, short taught components, small group work, participant presentations and practical exercises. The workshop included a strong focus on relating more abstract issues to the participant's own research.

Workshop content was structured round MRC guidance for developing and evaluating complex interventions, see: The workshop therefore covered issues relevant to interventions to change health-related behaviours: (a) development; (b) feasibility/ pilot testing; (c) evaluation; (d) implementation into routine practice.
We discussed the following: good scientific practice in developing and testing health behavior interventions, using theory to guide intervention development, using interventions to develop theory, the importance of construct validity of interventions, assessing and maximizing fidelity of treatment to protocol, assessing what works, methods for reviewing evidence and testing theory, and how the field of behavior change interventions can be advanced. Participants were encouraged to relate these issues to their own research (whether planned or underway), to maximize engagement, interaction and learning.
From Knowledge to Interventions