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Improving health: Changing behaviour, NHS health trainer handbook

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The 2004 Department of Health White Paper Choosing Health: Making healthy choices easier proposed the development of a new role for improving health and reducing health inequalities – accredited Health Trainers.

Health Trainers will be drawn from local communities and will be trained to reach those who want to adopt healthier lifestyles, but who have little contact with services.

Behaviours are a major cause of ill-health and premature death. For example, unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol use, unsafe sex, driving habits and violence contributed to 48% of deaths in the US in 2000. By setting personal goals to change behaviours and using learning strategies to achieve these, people can develop a greater sense of control and improve both their health and well-being.

The role of the Health Trainer is new within the NHS. The Health Trainer will use techniques based on psychological evidence and theories to help people change behaviours that are known to cause ill-health. As Choosing Health explains;

Providing information and persuasive messages can increase people’s knowledge of health risks and what action to take to deal with them. This is an essential framework for changing our way of life, but it is rarely enough on its own.

There is good evidence that a range of approaches grounded in psychological science can help people in changing habits and behaviour. These sorts of approaches help people:

  • learn how to watch for things around them that can trigger or reinforce the behaviour they want to change;
  • set goals and plan how to achieve them; and
  • build confidence to make the changes that they want to…”

Health psychologists have researched in great detail the most effective techniques for behaviour change and health promotion.

  

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 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  This handbook introduces this [behaviour change] approach and the main techniques that can help people decide whether, and what, they would like to change, and how to do this. These techniques include goal setting, self-monitoring, creating action plans and building social support.  ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)

 

APA reference for this document

 

Reference : BPS. (2008). Improving health: Changing behaviour, NHS health trainer handbook. London: DoH

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 August 2009 15:12