Recommendations for research

Recommendations for research

The Programme Development Group (PDG) recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to cost effectiveness and duration of effect. It also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects.

All the research should aim to identify differences in effectiveness among groups, based on characteristics such as socioeconomic status, age, gender and ethnicity.

1. Which choice architecture interventions help to reduce increased-risk and higher-risk drinking of alcohol, improve sexual health behaviours, help stop or reduce smoking, or increase the physical activity levels of the general UK population? How is this related to sociodemographic variables?

2. What evidence of effectiveness is there on the use of choice architecture interventions in commercial settings to influence health-related behaviours? How can findings from commercial settings support non-commercial choice architecture approaches to support behaviour change to improve health?

3. Which combinations of behaviour change techniques and modes of delivery are effective and cost effective in initiating particular behaviour changes, and in maintaining those changes? How does this vary among people from different socio-demographic groups or with different levels of motivation, access to information or skills? Include research that builds the evidence base on the effectiveness of each behaviour change technique. For example, experimental and meta-analytic work could clarify which behaviour change techniques work when, and for whom.

4. Which behaviour change interventions and programmes are effective and cost effective at changing multiple behaviours and maintaining behaviour change? How does this vary among people from different sociodemographic groups?

5. What characteristics of behaviour change training influence the effectiveness of behaviour change practitioners?

6. How effective and cost effective are behaviour change interventions delivered remotely (that is, by telephone, text message, phone and tablet apps or the internet)? How does this vary among behaviours and among people from different sociodemographic groups?

7. How do behaviour change techniques lead to change? What are the best methods of testing the relationship between the theories that describe change processes and the effectiveness of interventions in practice?

More detail identified during development of this guidance is provided in gaps in the evidence.