Health Behavior Change and Treatment Adherence

Evidence-Based Guidelines for Improving Healthcare

Relationships, jobs and health behaviors—these are what New Year's resolutions are made of. Every year millions resolve to adopt a better diet, exercise more, become fit or lose weight, but few put into practice the health behaviors they aspire to. For those who successfully begin, the likelihood that they will maintain these habits is low. Health care professionals recognize the importance of these, and other, health behaviors but struggle to provide their patients with the tools necessary for successful maintenance of their medical regimens. The thousands of research papers that exist on patient adherence and health behavior change can leave professionals overwhelmed.

This book synthesizes the results from more than 50 years of empirical research, resulting in simple, powerful, and practical guidance for health professionals who want to know the most effective strategies for helping their clients to put long-term health-relevant behavior changes into practice. It advocates a straightforward three-ingredient model:

Before a person can change, they must:

  1. Know what change is necessary (information);
  2. Desire the change (motivation); and
  3. Have the tools to achieve and maintain the change (strategy).

This book is designed to be informative and compelling, but its numerous anecdotes and examples render it engaging and entertaining, as well.


Written for a practitioners and students of medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy, nursing, health education, physician assistant programs, dentistry, clinical and health psychology, marriage and family counseling, social work, school psychology, and care administrators—and for lay persons who wish to take an active role in their health, this book brings together major empirically-based findings within the field and provides succinct, evidence-based recommendations and strategies for using these findings to make real changes.

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