Social and Behavioral Theories

9. Challenges Moving Forward

Successful behavior change strategies take many forms. Theory and research suggest that the most effective behavior change interventions are those that use multiple strategies and aim to achieve multiple goals of awareness, information transmission, skill development, and supportive environments and policies. Goal-setting and monitoring are important elements of many successful interventions. The emergence of information technology tools such as the internet, wireless technology, and personal digital assistants have expanded the range of theory-based strategies available for effective behavior change in health care and community settings. Behavioral interventions should be sensitive to audience and contextual factors, and recognize that most behavior change is incremental and that maintenance of change usually requires continued and focused efforts.

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