Public health and the science of behavior change.

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This article explores the supposition that the efficacy and impact of public health interventions targeting behavioral and lifestyle factors can be improved by developing interventions that combine scientific advances in behavior change theory with advances in information technology. It is noted that programs of the public health revolution which began during the late 19th century have been based on biomedical theories to guide health promotion efforts for the purpose of increased public health impact. However, developments in behavior change research suggest that it is possible to incorporate behavior change theory into traditional large-scale public health intervention programs. It has been indicated that there is a need to align the field of health promotion and disease prevention with the science of behavior change for the development of theory-based intervention strategies for lifestyle change. The combination of advances in behavioral science and progress in information technologies provides a unique opportunity to enhance the efficacy, reach, and impact of the health promotion programs of the second public health revolution.

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Current issues in public health





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