Behaviour change

MECC is all about encouragement. In our MECC conversation we want to encourage behaviour change. The new behaviours which we wish to encourage people to engage in include:

  • keeping active on a regular basis (avoiding sedentary lifestyle)

  • eating healthily / losing weight-quitting smoking

We are going to use the COM-B Model to help us to make the most of any opportunities which we have to Make Every Contact Count.

“Changing the incidence of any behaviour of an individual or population involves changing one or more of the following: capability, opportunity and motivation, relating to the behaviour itself or to behaviours that compete or support it.”

Reference: Professor Susan Michie, UCL: Michie et al The Behaviour Change Wheel. 2014)

The COM-B Model states that there are 3 key ingredients necessary for successful behaviour change: the person needs to feel CAPABLE of changing; needs to have the OPPORTUNITY to change, and of course needs to feel MOTIVATED to do so.​

CAPABILITY: The physical strength, knowledge, skills etc needed to perform the behaviour; the ability to overcome barriers to performance.

OPPORTUNITY: there must be the opportunity for the behaviour to occur eg it is accessible? affordable? sufficient time to do it? prompts to do it?

MOTIVATION: the person must be more highly motivated to do the behaviour at the relevant time than not to do the behaviour, or to engage in some competing behaviour. Do I want to do it? Is it important to me to do it?(Professor S. Mitchie: The Behaviour Change Wheel).

We will use the COM-B model to help us to structure our MECC conversations. COM-B can act as a prompt for us to include the right "ingredients" in our conversations.

We can help people to consider their CAPABILITIES, their OPPORTUNITIES to change and their MOTIVATIONS by using some of the following evidence based "behaviour change techniques" in our conversations.

  • Giving personalised feedback of risk or consequences

  • Encouraging people to consider the benefits of change

  • Encouraging people to have a belief that they can succeed

  • Helping people to consider what support they need to change

  • Helping people to access services that will support them.

Some very brief forms of MECC will only include one or two behaviour change techniques eg encouraging people to consider the benefits of keeping active with regards to reducing back pain, and helping people to access services by signposting.Professionals who have a more in-depth chat may use all of the above.​

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