Centre for Behaviour Change


Behavioural Science in Healthcare webinar series

This blog has been written by Dr Caroline Wood (Head of Behavioural Insights and Research at Bupa) and Dr Paul Chadwick (Deputy Director at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change).

Webinar series

We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new webinar series organised as part of the ongoing academic partnership between the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London and Bupa UK’s Behavioural Insights Team.

The impact of behaviour on health has been thrown into sharp relief over the last year, as interventions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 relied on individuals wearing masks, washing their hands, and staying home. Even in more normal times, over half of all premature deaths in Western society are a result of behavioural factors such as smoking, drinking too much, being physically inactive and poor dietary quality. Traditional approaches to changing behaviour in healthcare have relied heavily on educating people about what they should be doing and hoping this will translate into action. However, evidence from the behavioural sciences is clear that this is rarely ever sufficient to bring about sustainable change. Adapting models of healthcare service delivery in ways that recognise the complexity of factors influencing human behaviour is key to helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

In the last few years the UCL CBC – Bupa partnership has facilitated the translation of the science of behaviour change into the development of new models and methods of behaviourally-informed, high quality healthcare. This webinar series showcases some of the learnings from this partnership and outlines the application of behaviour change science to some of the most pressing issues faced by modern healthcare systems; digital health tools and interventions, management of long-term conditions, antimicrobial resistance, and the use of behavioural science to improve implementation of health professional behaviour change interventions.

    Looking after our health digitally

    Using digital behaviour change interventions to improve health outcomes: engagement and beyond

    The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a significant mode-shift in the routine delivery of healthcare.  The use of digital tools to deliver healthcare increased dramatically, often in populations and services that had previously been resistant. Providers such as Bupa have expanded their remote services is response to overwhelming need and demand, such that video consultations with GPs and app-based cognitive behavioural therapy are now routine parts of service delivery. Whilst digitisation of healthcare is part of the UK governments strategy for building back better important questions remain about what makes people decide to use specific tools, how to help them to keep using them, and the degree to which the delivery of such services will widen or reduce inequalities 

    In this webinar, Dr Olga Perski and Dr Aleksandra Herbec draw upon their Bupa-funded PhD research to explore the latest evidence from behavioural science to develop apps that capture and keep people’s attention, in order to support better health outcomes.

    What you will learn by watching this webinar

    How to integrate best practice and the latest evidence into product development, what draws people to certain apps, and how to boost low engagement

    Watch the webinar here


    Managing health conditions over time

    Using behaviour change science to improve self-management of long-term conditions

    Effective prevention and management of long-term conditions (LTCs) is one of the most significant challenges faced by Western health care systems. LTC’s present unique challenges for health care systems designed to treat acute illness. For example, symptoms can be cyclical and change or worsen over time, and are linked to an increased risk of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Furthermore, the behavioural demands required of individuals with LTC’s to effectively manage their condition are considerable, and supporting this requires shifts in healthcare professional behaviours.

    Dr Paul Chadwick’s webinar focuses on how we can apply tools and techniques from behavioural science to best support people as they navigate these health challenges.

    What you will learn by watching this webinar

    How best to support people to manage their health, including behaviour change techniques for clinician-led support and self-management pathways.

    Watch the webinar here


    Putting theory into practice

    Maximising high quality healthcare – a behavioural science approach to implementing change

    Changing the behaviour of healthcare professionals can be just as difficult as changing our own, particularly when it comes to translating new evidence into concrete actions. Bupa and UCL have learned this first-hand, working closely together to train Bupa’s frontline staff to use the latest behaviour change techniques with their patients. This has been supported by making changes to relevant teams, systems and processes across the business, as a training programme alone isn’t always enough to change clinical practice over the long term. From healthcare professionals, support staff and managers through to patients and policymakers, all have a role to play in helping to bring about behaviour change in healthcare.

    In this webinar, Dr Danielle D’Lima delves into the science of implementation and how to change behaviour at all levels of an organisation.

    What you will learn by watching this webinar

    How to apply theory-based tools and systematic approaches, such as the Behaviour Change Wheel, to understand behaviour and design impactful interventions.

    Watch the webinar here


    Tackling antimicrobial resistance

    Applying behavioural science to combating antimicrobial resistance

    One of the toughest behavioural challenges facing healthcare globally is antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which threatens our ability to fight bacteria that are easily treatable today. Like COVID-19, changing human behaviour is at the heart of reducing this risk. Clinicians prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed, patients taking them inappropriately and even poor hygiene are all behaviours that contribute to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. As part of their commitment to creating a better world, Bupa is working to raise customers’ awareness of this issue and with clinicians to reduce overtreatment in multiple areas.

    Dr Fabi Lorencatto’s webinar helps us to understand some of the key research looking at tackling the rise of AMR through a behavioural lens.

    What you will learn by watching this webinar

    How behavioural science is being used to reduce the risks of AMR.

    View the webinar slides here

    The webinar series was coordinated by the Bupa Excellence in Healthcare team and recorded in Spring 2019.

    The launch of the series is part of a programme of events, collaborative research activities and other resources produced through an ongoing academic partnership between the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London and Bupa’s Behavioural Insights Team. This partnership is led by Dr Caroline Wood  (Head of Behavioural Insights at Bupa UK) and Dr Paul Chadwick (Deputy Director, UCL Centre for Behaviour Change).