Gearing Up For Population Health, Part 4: Laying a Solid Foundation with Theory

February 16, 2015

// By Susan Dubuque //

Susan DubuqueLast year Strategic Health Care Marketing published a series of three articles on Racing to Wellness. This year we will delve further into the evolution of our profession in a rapidly changing environment. As we move away from conventional promotions intended to drive volumes, we will explore the reinvention of marketing and communications with a different objective—to improve health and support wellness as we prepare for the advent of population health management.

You win some, you lose some. That’s fine if you’re playing rock, paper, scissors.

But if you’re designing a prevention or health improvement program, you want to increase your chances for success. And that’s possible if you build your program on a solid foundation of “theory.”

No yawning or eye rolling allowed. Seriously, behavioral change theory is fascinating. And what’s more, it can give you a deeper understanding of how to motivate your employees, patients or community members to make a change for the better when it comes to their health.

So let’s dig in and take a closer look at some of the most commonly used approaches to behavioral change. We’ll start with the most fundamental—called the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model (IMB). IMB was introduced in 1992 by Fisher and Fisher as a means of changing risk behavior for HIV/AIDS. Since that time it has been applied to other fields, such as breast self-examination, drug and alcohol prevention and motorcycle safety.

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