Although there is a gap between what people intend to do and what they actually do, behavioural intention is still a good proxy for behaviour in that people who don’t intend to do things do them less than people who do intend to do things. Expectation is like intention with an added reality check – “I intend to do that every time but I know that things will get in my way so I expect I will do it fewer times than I would like”.
The benefit of expectation as a measure of the impact of education on practice is that it might change through the course of an education/training intervention so it can be assessed before and after training. Measures of actual behaviour cannot as of course the healthcare professional won’t have had time to practice again. Where is not going to be possible to follow up healthcare professionals after the education and training, measuring behavioural expectation can allow assessment of expected future behaviour as an impact of education and training.