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Health behaviour change interventions for couples: A systematic review.

Arden-Close, E. and McGrath, N., 2017. Health behaviour change interventions for couples: A systematic review. British Journal of Health Psychology, 22 (2), 215-237.

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Arden-Close_et_al-2017-British_Journal_of_Health_Psychology.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12227


OBJECTIVES: Partners are a significant influence on individuals' health, and concordance in health behaviours increases over time in couples. Several theories suggest that couple-focused interventions for health behaviour change may therefore be more effective than individual interventions. DESIGN: A systematic review of health behaviour change interventions for couples was conducted. METHODS: Systematic search methods identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized interventions of health behaviour change for couples with at least one member at risk of a chronic physical illness, published from 1990-2014. RESULTS: We identified 14 studies, targeting the following health behaviours: cancer prevention (6), obesity (1), diet (2), smoking in pregnancy (2), physical activity (1) and multiple health behaviours (2). In four out of seven trials couple-focused interventions were more effective than usual care. Of four RCTs comparing a couple-focused intervention to an individual intervention, two found that the couple-focused intervention was more effective. CONCLUSIONS: The studies were heterogeneous, and included participants at risk of a variety of illnesses. In many cases the intervention was compared to usual care for an individual or an individual-focused intervention, which meant the impact of the couplebased content could not be isolated. Three arm studies could determine whether any added benefits of couple-focused interventions are due to adding the partner or specific content of couple-focused interventions. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Health behaviours and health behaviour change are more often concordant across couples than between individuals in the general population. Couple-focused interventions for chronic conditions are more effective than individual interventions or usual care (Martire, Schulz, Helgeson, Small, & Saghafi, ). What does this study add? Identified studies targeted a variety of health behaviours, with few studies in any one area. Further assessment of the effectiveness of couple-focused versus individual interventions for those at risk is needed. Three-arm study designs are needed to determine benefits of targeting couples versus couple-focused intervention content.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:couples; health behaviour change; interventions; review
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:27346
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:20 Feb 2017 15:31
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:03


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