A man in a white lab coat is pictured waist down, holding a stethoscope

Behavioural Interventions in Health

Today, I chaired our team meeting. I was able to convince our senior executive to creatively come up with a behavioural intervention to address the unfolding public health crisis.

The point was to get the team and our leaders to think about how we could use social and behavioural science evidence to encourage people to work from home, as Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections are rising. Each group then physically acted out their intervention ideas to visually represent how it would work. They came up with great solutions!

In other work, I submitted for review our draft recommendations from our disability project.

I also ran two clinics (practical advice sessions) to help health organisations think about how to use behavioural interventions in their work.

One organisation wanted to encourage general practitioners to refer patients to a free sexual health program. I helped them improve their letter, to make the call to action salient, to keep the message simple, to clearly highlight the benefits to doctors and their patients, and to make opting in easier.

The other agency wanted to replicate our trial which uses behavioural messages to increase apprenticeship class attendance. I helped them see that they did not need to retest (a time and resource intensive exercise, given our intervention is effective). They could simply use our messages that had already been proven scientifically successful. I showed them how they might adapt the intervention to their context, and how to evaluate outcomes for their reporting purposes.

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