Systematic literature review to examine the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions that use theories and models of behaviour change: towards the prevention and control of communicable diseases

Literature review Monitoring

​This systematic literature review assessed the effectiveness of interventions using theories and models of behaviour change to prevent or control communicable diseases relevant to Europe. The review was commissioned by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and conducted by the Institute for Social Marketing of the University of Stirling and the Open University.

Executive summary

​There is a substantial body of published work evaluating health interventions using behaviour change theories and models. The review published today provides a unique, systematic overview of the available literature on such interventions and their effectiveness for prevention and control of communicable diseases.  
The report presents a detailed mapping of the targets of interventions – diseases and disease groups, populations, types of behaviour for change – and links those to the behaviour change theories and models used. This includes also an overview of the communication channels and activities used by the interventions, as well as the settings in which the interventions took place.
The review also sought to examine the evidence of effectiveness for relevant interventions and programmes based on theories and models of behaviour change. Though it was not possible to identify associations that linked specific theories of behaviour change to intervention outcomes, the report presents a detailed overview of interventions, their target groups, theories and models used and outcomes.
The authors recommend an initiative to collect good-practice case studies for the future that would complement the research evidence and to promote shared learning. The analysis and findings are intended to provide a current status report on the evidence and gaps in order to inform good practice, policy, strategies and future research.