How fast is fast enough? Academic behavioural science impacting public health policy and practice

Gill Hubbard, M Beattie, T. Allison, Diane Dixon, J Chandler, J. Dryden, Marie Johnston, Mona Maier, R. Fry, E. McConnachie, E. Pettis, L. Stephenson, C. den Daas

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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Background: COVID-19 emphasised the crucial role behaviour change plays in protecting population health. However, the interchange between academic behavioural science and Public Health (PH) policy and practice could be strengthened. We aimed to establish a sustainable method of joint working between two groups in North Scotland to enable rapid impact of behavioural science on population health.

Methods: An implementation-sciences based approach tested the initial 4 steps of an 8-step collaboration process model, designed to identify a health problem (step 1), develop and test messaging interventions (step 2-4), implement the intervention (steps 5-6), and evaluate impact (steps 7-8).

Results: Since October 2022, fortnightly meetings were established, implementing the process model. This project will focus on the following outcomes: perceived collaboration usefulness, collaboration-process barriers, and facilitators.

Conclusions: Unless a sustainable method of joint working can be established in times where there are no urgent PH priorities, it is unlikely that the fruits of behavioural science can be aligned with PH challenges when outbreaks are happening to rapidly impact population health.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2023


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