Watch this animation to find out more about what we know about healthcare professional behaviour.
The animation shows how every behaviour we do is determined by our capability, opportunity and motivation. How these determinants of behaviour go together to make a behaviour happen or not happen is complicated. Many scientists and social scientists are still studying this and there are over 50 different theories (http://www.behaviourchangetheories.com). The way that we think about it is not the only way but it is the way that makes the most sense to us, as we try to understand healthcare professional practice and the influence that education and training might have on practice.
We think about two processes that combine to result in behaviour.
One process (reflective motivation), involves us thinking and reflecting and weighing up what we think about the behaviour, about the goals we have, about who we are and the situation we are in.
The other process is more automatic (automatic motivation) and involves us responding to the situation we are in, and to our impulses and urges.
Both processes are important when we are thinking about how healthcare professionals practice. Yes, we need to make a good case for the behaviour we want to see, we need to teach people how to do it, give them confidence that they can and help them to understand that it is a good thing. But, we also need to think about what will happen to them day to day – what pressures and impulses will they feel that will push their behaviour one way or another. These impulses and pressures can be a negative thing – pushing people towards practices that are not ideal, but if they can be harnessed they can be powerful.