Health Behavior Interventions Literature Review

by Jamie_Harris1 min read24th Jul 20204 comments

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There is an extensive research literature on the effectiveness of various interventions for changing health behaviors, such as dietary habits, physical activity, and smoking. Existing reviews and overviews tend to aggregate research on the effects of specific interventions on particular health behaviors. This review provides a largely qualitative, non-statistical summary of the evidence for the effectiveness of intervention types across health behaviors, by aggregating 706 research items (mostly systematic reviews and meta-analyses) based on the strength of evidence. This review makes a number of subjective judgment calls and uses novel methods of evaluation in order to quickly digest and summarize an extremely large evidence base. It focuses on applications to the farmed animal movement, especially to the behavioral change of reducing animal product consumption. In general, while the health behavior literature includes a very large number of studies, there is much inconsistency in wording, methodology, and subject matter, which makes it difficult to extract useful insights for behavior change advocates. However, some conclusions are warranted. Key findings include that almost all types of health behavior interventions targeted at individuals or small groups seem likely to have effect sizes conventionally interpreted as “small” or “very small,” that their effect sizes tend to be even smaller in the long term, and that interventions with educational and behavioral components outperform solely educational interventions.

See the full post here. (Shared as a linkpost because the bulk of the report is a large tables I thought might be difficult to reformat for the Forum)