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Enhancing the translation of health behaviour change research into practice: a selective conceptual review of the synergy between implementation science and health psychology

Presseau, J., Byrne-Davis, L. M. T., Hotham, S. , Lorencatto, F., Potthoff, S., Atkinson, L., Bull, E., Dima, A., van Dongen, A., French, D. P., Hankonen, N., Hart, J., ten Hoor, G. A., Hudson, K., Kwasnicka, D., van Lieshout, S., McSharry, J., Olander, E. K. ORCID: 0000-0001-7792-9895, Powell, R. L., Toomey, E. & Byrne, M. (2021). Enhancing the translation of health behaviour change research into practice: a selective conceptual review of the synergy between implementation science and health psychology. Health Psychology Review, 16(1), pp. 22-49. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2020.1866638


Health psychology is at the forefront of developing and disseminating evidence, theories, and methods that have improved the understanding of health behaviour change. However, current dissemination approaches may be insufficient for promoting broader application and impact of this evidence to benefit the health of patients and the public. Nevertheless, behaviour change theory/methods typically directed towards health behaviours are now used in implementation science to understand and support behaviour change in individuals at different health system levels whose own behaviour impacts delivering evidence-based health behaviour change interventions. Despite contributing to implementation science, health psychology is perhaps doing less to draw from it. A redoubled focus on implementation science in health psychology could provide novel prospects for enhancing the impact of health behaviour change evidence. We report a Health Psychology Review-specific review-of-reviews of trials of health behaviour change interventions published from inception to April 2020. We identified 34 reviews and assessed whether implementation readiness of behaviour change interventions was discussed. We then narratively review how implementation science has integrated theory/methods from health psychology and related discipline. Finally, we demonstrate how greater synergy between implementation science and health psychology could promote greater follow-through on advances made in the science of health behaviour change.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Implementation science, intervention development, intervention mapping, behaviour change wheel, theoretical domains framework, behaviour change
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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