A scoping review of behavioural science approaches and frameworks for health protection and emergency response

Alice Zelenka Martin, Dale Weston, Joanna Kesten, Clare E French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Aim Rapid intervention development, implementation and evaluation is required for emergency public health contexts, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. A novel Agile Co-production and Evaluation (ACE) framework has been developed to assist this endeavour in future public health emergencies. This scoping review aimed to map available behavioural science resources that can be used to develop and evaluate public health guidance, messaging, and interventions in emergency contexts onto components of ACE: rapid development and implementation, co-production with patients or the public including seldom heard voices from diverse communities, and inclusion of evaluation.

Methods A scoping review methodology was used. Searches were run on MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychInfo, and Google, with search terms covering emergency response and behavioural science. Papers published since 2014 and which discussed a framework or guidance for using behavioural science in response to a public health emergency, were included. A narrative synthesis was conducted.

Results Seventeen records were included in the synthesis. The records covered a range of emergency contexts, the most frequent of which were COVID-19 (n=7) and non-specific emergencies (n=4). One record evaluated existing tools, six proposed new tools, and ten described existing tools. Commonly used tools included the Behavioural Change Wheel, Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation Behaviour model (COM-B model) and social identity theory. Three records discuss co-production with the target audience and consideration of diverse populations. Four records incorporate rapid testing, evaluation, or validation methods. Six records state that their tool is designed to be implemented rapidly. No records cover all components of ACE.

Conclusion We recommend that future research explores how to create guidance involving rapid implementation, co-production with patients or the public including seldom-heard voices from diverse communities, and evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPerspectives in Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 May 2024

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