Designing and implementing effective behaviour change interventions to improve population health and health services in Ireland

Priority issue: To improve population health by developing, using and advocating use of scientific methods for studying behaviour change.

Key objectives of the proposal:

  1. To establish the Health Behaviour Change Research Cluster/Centre (HBCRC) at NUI Galway. 
  2. To establish expert working groups in 3 focus areas (diabetes, cardiovascular disease & primary care). These groups will include key service providers, policy makers and patient representatives. The function of these groups will be to support the HBCRC in identifying behavioural research priorities and guide the development of the research agenda of the HBCRC. Engagement with these groups will also assist in the implementation of findings into practice.
  3. To develop a programme of research focusing on development and evaluation of behavioural interventions (targeting health service providers, users and healthy populations), using behavioural theories and methods, to improve health outcomes. 
  4. To secure further competitive research funding to develop the research portfolio of the centre and build capacity within the HBCRC.
  5. To provide training and support for researchers and health service providers in development and evaluation of behavioural interventions using randomised controlled trials, to build expertise and application of scientific behaviour change intervention methodologies.
  6. To offer doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships in Health Behaviour Change Research. 
  7. To create an all-island resource for population health and health services research (PHHSR) in Ireland. Through active collaboration with multidisciplinary networks and engagement with health service researchers, providers and planners, the HBCRC will aim to increase the application of behavioural science to improve health services outcomes and public policy development nationally.
  8. To advance the science of behaviour change methodologies, by collaborating with international experts and research teams in health behaviour change, documenting processes and lessons learnt through the work of the HBCRC, and publishing and presenting our work to international audiences.

Expected outcomes:
To establish a national hub and internationally-recognised centre of excellence in health behavioural intervention development, evaluation and implementation. By the end of the initial 5 years of this award we will have:

  1. Developed a programme of research within the HBCRC and secured additional research funding to sustain the HBCRC,
  2. Established the HBCRC as international leader in the scientific study of behaviour change,
  3. Built capacity in health behaviour change research expertise and established a system of mentorship for future generations of research leaders in this area,
  4. Created a resource for public health and health service researchers, providers and planners to increase the application of behavioural science to improve health services outcomes and public policy development nationally.
Award Date
22 March 2013
Award Value
€1,322,813.00
Principal Investigator
Professor Molly Byrne
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Scheme
Research Leader Awards