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Changing healthcare professionals' non-reflective processes to improve the quality of care

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-05, 16:44 authored by Sebastian Potthoff, Dominika Kwasnicka, Leah Avery, Tracy Finch, Benjamin Gardner, Nelli Hankonen, Derek Johnston, Marie Johnston, Gerjo Kok, Phillippa Lally, Gregory Maniatopoulos, Marta M Marques, Nicola McCleary, Justin Presseau, Tim Rapley, Tom Sanders, Gill ten Hoor, Luke Vale, Bas Verplanken, Jeremy M Grimshaw

Rationale

Translating research evidence into clinical practice to improve care involves healthcare professionals adopting new behaviours and changing or stopping their existing behaviours. However, changing healthcare professional behaviour can be difficult, particularly when it involves changing repetitive, ingrained ways of providing care. There is an increasing focus on understanding healthcare professional behaviour in terms of non-reflective processes, such as habits and routines, in addition to the more often studied deliberative processes. Theories of habit and routine provide two complementary lenses for understanding healthcare professional behaviour, although to date, each perspective has only been applied in isolation.


Objectives

To combine theories of habit and routine to generate a broader understanding of healthcare professional behaviour and how it might be changed.


Methods

Sixteen experts met for a two-day multidisciplinary workshop on how to advance implementation science by developing greater understanding of non-reflective processes.


Results

From a psychological perspective ‘habit’ is understood as a process that maintains ingrained behaviour through a learned link between contextual cues and behaviours that have become associated with those cues. Theories of habit are useful for understanding the individual's role in developing and maintaining specific ways of working. Theories of routine add to this perspective by describing how clinical practices are formed, adapted, reinforced and discontinued in and through interactions with colleagues, systems and organisational procedures. We suggest a selection of theory-based strategies to advance understanding of healthcare professionals' habits and routines and how to change them.


Conclusion

Combining theories of habit and routines has the potential to advance implementation science by providing a fuller understanding of the range of factors, operating at multiple levels of analysis, which can impact on the behaviours of healthcare professionals, and so quality of care provision.

Funding

Health Foundation Improvement Science Award (grant number: GIFTS ID 7223)

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration - North East and North Cumbria (ARC NENC)

National Institute for Health Research

Find out more...

European Union under the European Regional Development Fund; grant number POIR.04.04.00-00-5CF3/18-00; HOMING 5/2018

History

Citation

Social Science & Medicine 298 (2022) 114840

Author affiliation

School of Business

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Social Science & Medicine

Volume

298

Publisher

Elsevier BV

issn

0277-9536

Acceptance date

2022-02-20

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2024-03-05

Language

en

Deposited by

Professor Gregory Maniatopoulos

Deposit date

2024-03-04

Rights Retention Statement

  • No

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