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Health Psychology Principles in Behaviour Change Interventions – Insights from Practice and Research

Zafar, Sonia (2012). Health Psychology Principles in Behaviour Change Interventions – Insights from Practice and Research. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The overall objective of the study was to identify factors which play a key role in diet and exercise behaviour for migrant and Danish bus drivers in a workplace setting. The aim was to develop a framework to illustrate how the individual, contextual and cultural influences on health behaviour (diet and physical activity) interplay in an everyday perspective.

Data was collected using a qualitative approach. Methods applied consisted of contextual based observations and semi structured interviews with sixteen (n=16) bus drivers. Four interviews were conducted with Danish, four with Somali, four with Turkish and four with participants with a Pakistani ethnic origin.
The data was analysed using grounded theory. The core category which emerged from the data was „impact of individual, contextual and cultural influences on health behaviours‟. The core category was supported by five higher order categories. These were as follows: (1) Meanings of health (2) health behaviour and the potential to change, (3) Maintaining Balance (4) Workplace influences on health (5) Positioning in the social context. Each of the higher order categories was further supported with categories and sub-categories.

The analysis illustrated findings on different levels. As a result of the impact of individual, contextual and cultural findings, strive for balance through a process of equilibrium was core to well-being and health in an everyday perspective. A collection of factors from the different levels of influence played a key role on diet and physical activity in an everyday work-day context. These have been illustrated through the use of quotes and frameworks. Based on the findings of the study, future research and practice recommendations are outlined.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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