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Publication Detail
What the guide does not tell you: reflections on and lessons learned from applying the COM-B behavior model for designing real life interventions
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Whittal A, Atkins L, Herber OR
  • Publisher:
    Springer Nature
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Translational Behavioral Medicine
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Behavior change wheel, COM-B behavior model, Complex intervention design, Lessons learned, Methodological discussion
Substantial inconsistency exists in the effectiveness of existing interventions to improve heart failure (HF) self-care, which can be partially explained by the fact that self-management interventions often lack theoretical models that underpin intervention development. The COM-B behavior model is a comprehensive theoretical framework that can be used to develop effective, theory-based interventions. The aim of this article is to highlight the challenges and practical solutions when applying the COM-B model to HF self-care, in order to provide useful support for researchers intending to use the model for designing behavior change interventions. "The Behaviour Change Wheel" handbook provides a step-by-step guide to understand and change behavior. When following the guide, some practical and methodological challenges were encountered. Lessons learnt to overcome these challenges are reported. Although the handbook is a comprehensive guide for designing behavior change interventions, a number of challenges arose. For example, the descriptions provided in the guide were not always sufficient to make solid judgments on how to categorize determinants; narrowing down intervention possibilities to a manageable number and prioritizing potential behavior change techniques over others involved a certain amount of subjectivity in an otherwise highly systematic and structured approach. For the encountered challenges, solutions are provided to illustrate how the model was applied practically to design theory-based behavior change interventions. This article provides a useful reference for researchers' use of the COM-B behavior model, as it outlines challenges that may occur and potential solutions to overcome them.
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