Behaviour change: the principles for effective interventions

NICE guidelines [PH6] Published date:

Review decision date: August 2014

Review decision: 

There will be a partial update of PH6.

Next review date: August 2017

This guidance was previously entitled ‘Behaviour change’.

This guidance is aimed at those responsible for helping people to change their behaviour to improve their health. This includes policy makers and those working in local authorities and the community and voluntary sectors.

It gives advice on how to plan and run relevant initiatives.

The recommendations include the following advice:

  • base interventions on a proper assessment of the target group, where they are located and the behaviour which is to be changed: careful planning is the cornerstone of success
  •  work with other organisations and the community itself to decide on and develop initiatives
  • build on the skills and knowledge that already exists in the community, for example, by encouraging networks of people who can support each other
  • take account of – and resolve – problems that prevent people changing their behaviour (for example, the costs involved in taking part in exercise programmes or buying fresh fruit and vegetables, or lack of knowledge about how to make changes)
  • base all interventions on evidence of what works
  • train staff to help people change their behaviour
  • evaluate all interventions.

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