ABC of Behaviour Change Theories

An Essential Resource for Researchers, Policy Makers and Practitioners

Written by Susan Michie, Robert West, Rona Campbell, Jamie Brown & Heather Gainforth

Susan Michie

Susan Michie is Professor of Health Psychology at University College London, UK, where she is Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change ( and of the Health Psychology Research Group. With a background in experimental and clinical psychology, and Professor Michie has been a key player in advancing behavioural science methods, including the application of theory to developing and evaluating interventions to promote the prevention and management of ill health and the delivery of evidence-based health services. She regularly contributes to national and international policy work, including, including as co-director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training; member of NICE's Implementation Strategy Group and of its Behaviour Change Programme Guidance Development Group; Chair of the Behaviour and Communications group of the cross-Government Scientific Pandemic Infl uenza Advisory Group; member of Public Health England and the Department of Health's Behavioural Insights Expert Advisory Group. She is author of over 200 scientific articles and of the Behaviour Change Wheel: Guide to Designing Interventions (2014).

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Robert West

Robert West is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, University College London, UK. Professor West is also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction. He is founder of the PRIME Theory of motivation and author of Theory of Addiction. He has authored more than 500 scientific articles, books and book chapters. He was co-founder of the NHS stop-smoking services. His research includes evaluations of methods of helping smokers to stop and population surveys of smoking and smoking cessation patterns. He is author of 'The SmokeFree Formula' (Orion) which aims to bring the science of stopping to smokers and of the Behaviour Change Wheel: Guide to Designing Interventions (2014).

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Rona Campbell

Rona Campbell is Professor of Public Health Research and leads the Centre for Public Health Research within the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol. She is the Director of the UKCRC DECIPHer (Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public health Improvements) Centre, and the Bristol lead for the NIHR School for Public Health Research. Rona leads programmes of research concerned with multiple risk behaviour in adolescence and health promotion in schools. She is currently involved in conducting a number of systematic reviews, including Cochrane Reviews of the WHO Health Promoting School Framework and of interventions to prevent multiple risk behaviours in young people. Rona has a strong interest in methodological research, including, how to use qualitative methods alongside quantitative approaches, how to synthesise qualitative research fi ndings and how to make better use of social and behavioural theory in public health research. Rona has published over 150 scientific works.

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Jamie Brown

Jamie Brown is a chartered psychologist and Senior Research Fellow of the Society for the Study of Addiction at University College London. Dr Brown has published widely on the relative eff ectiveness of diff erent methods for stopping and reducing the harm from smoking, has also written about the operation of learning mechanisms in a number of diff erent contexts, and has co-authored the second edition of the book ‘Theory of Addiction' together with Professor West. He is currently involved in the management of a number of national surveillance programmes of smoking behaviour and alcohol consumption, and in developing and evaluating a variety of digital interventions to change diff erent health behaviours. He also teaches on the BSc and MSc Health Psychology courses at UCL and acts as an Assistant Editor at the journal Addiction.

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Heather Gainforth

Heather Gainforth, PhD is a researcher with the UK's National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) and is a member of the Health Psychology Research Group at University College London, UK. She has been awarded a Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her research focuses on examining social and psychological factors that foster behaviour change in general and in special populations, developing and evaluating interventions, and understanding the process of implementing evidencebased practice. Th is includes fi nding ways of improving the delivery of behavioural support for smoking cessation.

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