Conceptualising Four Categories of Behaviours: Implications for Implementation Strategies to Achieve Behaviour Change

Nilsen, Per, Potthoff, Sebastian and Birken, Sarah A. (2022) Conceptualising Four Categories of Behaviours: Implications for Implementation Strategies to Achieve Behaviour Change. Frontiers in Health Services, 1. p. 795144. ISSN 2813-0146

frhs-01-795144.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (404kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Background: Effectiveness of implementation strategies is influenced by the extent to which they are based on appropriate theories concerning the behaviours that the strategies intend to impact. Effectiveness may be limited simply because the strategies are based on theories that are limited in scope or are derived from partially inaccurate assumptions about the behaviours in question. It may therefore be important to combine insights from various theories to cover the range of influences on the behaviours that will be changed. Aim: This article aims to explore concepts, theories and empirical findings from different disciplines to categorise four types of behaviours and discuss the implications for implementation strategies attempting to change these behaviours. Influences on behaviours: Multilevel influences on behaviours are dichotomized into individual-level and collective-level influences, and behaviours that are guided by conscious cognitive processes are distinguished from those that rely on non-conscious processing. Combining the two dimensions (levels and cognitive modes) creates a 2 x 2 conceptual map consisting of four categories of behaviours. Explicitly conceptualising the levels and cognitive modes is crucial because different implementation strategies are required depending on the characteristics of the behaviours involved in the practise that needs to be changed. Conclusion: The 2 x 2 conceptual map can be used to consider and reflect on the nature of the behaviours that need to be changed, thus providing guidance on the type of theory, model or framework that might be most relevant for understanding and facilitating behaviour change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health Services, behaviour change, implementation strategies, individual-level influences, collective-level influences, conscious cognitive processes, non-conscious processing
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 10:13
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 10:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics