The Centre for Health Behaviour Change conducts and translates research to develop best-practices that support the initiation and maintenance of physical activity and healthy eating, and the cessation of smoking.
In recent years, increasing public health resources and efforts have been devoted toward targeting behavioural risk factors. Yet, while many people with chronic disability and disease try to make positive changes to their health behaviours, very few are able to sustain changes long-term. Research is urgently needed to develop, test and implement strategies that support behaviour change among persons with chronic conditions.
In order for our research to be effective, it must be underpinned by research that takes into account the unique challenges and barriers to behaviour change faced by people with chronic conditions — challenges such as limited access to resources because of mobility or economic restrictions, lack of personal assistance, condition-related fatigue and weakness, and transportation and architectural barriers to accessing places to get support. As such, the creation of the Centre and its research activities are underpinned by the principles of integrated knowledge translation (IKT) – an approach to doing research whereby the principles of KT are applied throughout the entire research process. The underlying premise of IKT is that by engaging knowledge users as equal partners alongside scientists, the resulting research is more applicable and useful to end-users than research conducted by scientists alone. By conducting IKT research in parallel with behaviour change research, the Centre will establish best-practices, tools, and leadership to help other scientists and knowledge-users adopt effective IKT research practices.