The Department of Health asked NICE to produce public health guidance on the most appropriate generic and specific interventions to support attitude and behaviour change at population and community levels.

This guidance provides a set of generic principles that can be used as the basis for planning, delivering and evaluating public health activities aimed at changing health-related behaviours. The guidance should be read in conjunction with other topic-specific public health guidance issued by NICE. It does not replace any of this guidance.

Future NICE guidance that aims to change people's behaviour will be based on the principles outlined in this guidance.

The guidance is for NHS and non-NHS professionals and others who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, helping people change their health-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. This includes national policy makers in health and related sectors (including those with a responsibility for planning or commissioning media, marketing or other campaigns), and commissioners, providers and practitioners in the NHS, local government, the community and voluntary sectors. It is also relevant for the research community (including those who oversee research funding), social and behavioural scientists, and health economists working in the area of health-related knowledge, attitude and behaviour change.

The Programme Development Group (PDG) has considered a range of evidence, key theories, economic data, stakeholder comments and the results of fieldwork in developing these recommendations.

Details of membership of the PDG are given in appendix A. The methods used to develop the guidance are summarised in appendix B. Supporting documents are listed in appendix E. Full details of the evidence collated, including fieldwork data and activities, are available, along with a list of the stakeholders involved and their comments.