Pippa Lally

Dr Phillippa Lally


Senior Lecturer in Psychology
BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA
+44 (0)1483 686890
34 AC 05

About

Areas of specialism

Habit; Behaviour Change ; Health Psychology ; Living with and beyond cancer

University roles and responsibilities

  • Co-director Habit Application &Theory Research Group
  • Fellow of the University of Surrey Institute for Sustainability

    My qualifications

    2002
    BSc (Hons) Psychology
    University of Warwick
    2004
    MSc Health Psychology
    UCL
    2007
    PhD Health Psychology
    UCL
    2022
    Fellow
    Higher Education Academy

    Teaching

    Publications

    Dikshyanta Rana, Sophie Westrop, Evi Germeni, Arlene McGarty, Louisa Ells, Phillippa Lally, Michael McEwan, Craig Melville, Leanne Harris, Olivia Wu, Nishant Jaiswal (2021)Understanding the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of lifestyle modification interventions in adults with learning disabilities: a mixed methods systematic review, In: Systematic Reviews10251

    Background Adults with learning disabilities have an increased disposition to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours which often occur simultaneously. Existing studies focus on complex interventions targeting unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, smoking, and alcohol use to reduce health risks experienced. It is essential to understand how well these interventions work, what works, for whom, in what context and why. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of lifestyle modification interventions for adults with learning disabilities. Methods This is a mixed-methods systematic review consisting of a network meta-analysis (NMA) and realist synthesis. Electronic databases (ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO) will be searched from inception to 14 January 2021 with no language restriction. Additionally, trial registries, grey literature databases and references lists will be searched. Studies related to lifestyle modification interventions on the adult population (>18 years) with learning disabilities will be eligible for inclusion. Two independent researchers will screen studies, extract data and assess its quality and risk of bias using the Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias Assessment Tool (RoB Version 2) and ROBINS-I. The strength of the body of evidence will be assessed based on the GRADE approach. The NMA will incorporate results from RCTs and quasi-experimental studies to estimate the effectiveness of various lifestyle interventions. Where appropriate, a component NMA (CNMA) will be used to estimate effectiveness. The realist synthesis will complement and explain the findings of NMA and CNMA by including additional qualitative and mixed-methods studies. Studies will be included based on their relevance to the programme theory and the rigour of their methods, as determined by quality appraisal tools appropriate to the study design. Results from both syntheses will be incorporated into a logic model. Discussion The paucity of population-specific lifestyle interventions contributes to the challenges of behaviour change in adults with learning disabilities. This study will provide an evidence-base from which various stakeholders can develop effective interventions for adults with learning disabilities. The evidence will also help prioritise and inform research recommendations for future primary research so that people with learning disabilities live happier, healthier and longer lives.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Madelynne A. Arden, D Brown, Frank F. Eves, JAMES GREEN, Kyra Hamilton, Nelli Hankonen, Jennifer Inauen, Jan Keller, Dominika Kwasnicka, Sarah Labudek, Hans Marien, Radomír Masaryk, Nicola McCleary, Barbara A. Mullan, Efrat Neter, S Orbell, Sebastian Potthoff, Phillippa Lally (2021)Developing habit-based health behaviour change interventions: twenty-one questions to guide future research, In: Psychology & health Routledge

    Habitual behaviours are triggered automatically, with little conscious forethought. Theory suggests that making healthy behaviours habitual, and breaking the habits that underpin many ingrained unhealthy behaviours, promotes long-term behaviour change. This has prompted interest in incorporating habit formation and disruption strategies into behaviour change interventions. Yet, notable research gaps limit understanding of how to harness habit to change real-world behaviours. Discussions among health psychology researchers and practitioners, at the 2019 European Health Psychology Society 'Synergy Expert Meeting', generated pertinent questions to guide further research into habit and health behaviour. In line with the four topics discussed at the meeting, 21 questions were identified, concerning: how habit manifests in health behaviour (3 questions); how to form healthy habits (5 questions); how to break unhealthy habits (4 questions); and how to develop and evaluate habit-based behaviour change interventions (9 questions). While our questions transcend research contexts, accumulating knowledge across studies of specific health behaviours, settings, and populations will build a broader understanding of habit change principles and how they may be embedded into interventions. We encourage researchers and practitioners to prioritise these questions, to further theory and evidence around how to create long-lasting health behaviour change.

    Susan Smith, Abi Fisher, Phillippa J. Lally, Helen A Croker, Anna Roberts, Rana E Conway, Rebecca J Beeken (2024)Perceiving a need for dietary change in adults living with and beyond cancer: A cross-sectional study, In: Cancer medicine (Malden, MA)13(4)e7073 Wiley

    Background Many people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) do not meet dietary recommendations. To implement a healthier diet, people LWBC must perceive a need to improve their diet. Methods Participants included people diagnosed with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer in the UK. Two binary logistic regression models were conducted with perceived need for dietary change as the outcome (need to improve vs. no need). Predictor variables included demographic and clinical characteristics, receipt of dietary advice, and either body mass index (BMI) or adherence to seven relevant World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) dietary recommendations. Results The sample included 5835 responses. Only 31% perceived a need to improve their diet. Being younger (odds ratio [OR] 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 94–0.95), female (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.15–1.53), not of white ethnicity (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.48–2.27), not married/cohabiting (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.16–1.52) and having received dietary advice (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.43–1.86) was associated with an increased odds of perceiving a need to improve diet. This association was also seen for participants with two or more comorbidities (OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.09–1.57), those not meeting the recommendations for fruit and vegetables (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.41–0.55), fat (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.58–0.77), and sugar (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.75–0.98) in the dietary components model and those who had a higher BMI (OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32–1.77) in the BMI model. Conclusions Most of this sample of people LWBC did not perceive a need to improve their diet. More research is needed to understand the reasons for this and to target these reasons in dietary interventions.

    S C Westrop, D Rana, N Jaiswal, O Wu, A M McGarty, C Melville, L Ells, P Lally, M McEwan, L Harris, E Germeni (2024)Supporting active engagement of adults with intellectual disabilities in lifestyle modification interventions: a realist evidence synthesis of what works, for whom, in what context and why, In: Journal of intellectual disability research68(4)pp. 293-316 Wiley

    Lifestyle modification interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities have had, to date, mixed effectiveness. This study aimed to understand how lifestyle modification interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities work, for whom they work and in what circumstances. A realist evidence synthesis was conducted that incorporated input from adults with intellectual disabilities and expert researchers. Following the development of an initial programme theory based on key literature and input from people with lived experience and academics working in this field, five major databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and ASSIA) and clinical trial repositories were systematically searched. Data from 79 studies were synthesised to develop context, mechanism and outcome configurations (CMOCs). The contexts and mechanisms identified related to the ability of adults with intellectual disabilities to actively take part in the intervention, which in turn contributes to what works, for whom and in what circumstances. The included CMOCs related to support involvement, negotiating the balance between autonomy and behaviour change, fostering social connectedness and fun, accessibility and suitability of intervention strategies and delivery and broader behavioural pathways to lifestyle change. It is also essential to work with people with lived experiences when developing and evaluating interventions. Future lifestyle interventions research should be participatory in nature, and accessible data collection methods should also be explored as a way of including people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities in research. More emphasis should be given to the broader benefits of lifestyle change, such as opportunities for social interaction and connectedness.

    Phillippa Lally, Fiona Kennedy, Susan Smith, Rebecca Beeken, Caroline Buck, Chloe Thomas, Nicholas Counsell, Lynda Wyld, Charlene Martin, Sarah Williams, Anna Roberts, Diana Greenfield, Jacqui Gath, Henry Potts, Nicholas Latimer, Lee Smith, Abi Fisher, (2024)The feasibility and acceptability of an app-based intervention with brief behavioural support (APPROACH) to promote brisk walking in people diagnosed with breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer in the UK, In: Cancer medicine Wiley

    Introduction: Increased moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) can improve clinical and psychosocial outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC). This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of trial procedures in a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a theory-driven app-based intervention with behavioural support focused on promoting brisk walking (a form of MVPA) in people LWBC (APPROACH). Methods: Participants diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer were recruited from a single UK hospital site. Assessments at baseline and 3-months included online questionnaires, device-measured brisk walking (activPAL accelerometer) and self-reported weight and height. Participants were randomised to intervention or control (care as usual). The intervention comprised a non-cancer-specific app to promote brisk walking (National Health Service ‘Active 10’) augmented with print information about habit formation, a walking planner, and two behavioural support telephone calls. Feasibility and acceptability of trial procedures were explored. Initial estimates for physical activity informed a power calculation for a phase III RCT. A preliminary health economics analysis was conducted.Results: Of those medically eligible, 369/577 (64%) were willing to answer further eligibility questions and 90/148 (61%) of those eligible were enrolled. Feasibility outcomes, including retention (97%), assessment completion rates (>86%) and app download rates in the intervention group (96%), suggest that the trial procedures are acceptable, and that the intervention is feasible. The phase III RCT will require 472 participants to be randomised. As expected, the preliminary health economic analyses indicate a high level of uncertainty around the cost-effectiveness of the intervention.Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates that a large trial of the brisk walking intervention with behavioural support is both feasible and acceptable to people LWBC. The results support progression onto a confirmatory phase III trial to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

    Natalie Miller, Abi Fisher, Philipp Frank, Phillippa Lally, Andrew Steptoe (2024)Depressive symptoms, socioeconomic position and mortality in older people living with and beyond cancer, In: Psychosomatic medicine Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

    ObjectiveEvidence shows that higher depressive symptoms are associated with mortality among people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC). However, prior studies have not accounted for a wider range of potential confounders, and no study has explored whether socioeconomic position (SEP) moderates the association. This study aimed to examine the association between depressive symptoms and mortality among people LWBC, and moderation by SEP. MethodsParticipants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), diagnosed with cancer and with a measure of depressive symptoms within four years following their diagnosis were included. Elevated depressive symptoms were indicated by a score of ≥3 on the 8-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Cox regression models examined associations with all-cause mortality. Competing risk regression examined associations with cancer mortality.  ResultsIn 1352 people LWBC (mean age = 69.6 years), elevated depressive symptoms were associated with a 93% increased risk of all-cause mortality (95% CI: 1.52-2.45) within the first four years of follow-up, and 48% increased risk within a four to eight year follow-up (95% CI: 1.02-2.13) after multivariable adjustment. Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with a 38% increased risk of cancer mortality, but not after excluding people who died within one year after baseline assessments. There were no interactions between depressive symptoms and SEP. ConclusionsElevated depressive symptoms are associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality among people LWBC within an eight year follow-up period. Associations between depressive symptoms and cancer mortality might be due to reverse causality. 

    F Kennedy, N Miller, A Roberts, R J Beeken, D Greenfield, HWW Potts, N Counsell, N Latimer, C Thomas, L Smith, J Gath, C Martin, L Wyld, A Fisher, P Lally (2022)Promoting physical activity via a smartphone application in people living with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer: study protocol for a randomised pilot trial (APPROACH), In: Abstracts from the British Psychosocial Oncology Society 2022 Conference, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Psychosocial Oncology, Virtual Conference, 28-29 April 202231 Wiley

    Background:There are multiple benefits to being physically active after a cancer diagnosis, but many people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) require support to increase their activity levels. App-based interventions offer a promising platform for intervention delivery. This trial aims to pilot a theory-driven, app-based intervention that promotes brisk walking among people LWBC. Aims: The primary aim of the pilot is to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of study procedures before conducting a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT). Methods: This is an individually randomised, two-armed pilot RCT. Patients with localised or metastatic breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer, who are aged 16 years or over will be recruited from a single hospital site in South Yorkshire. The intervention includes an app designed to encourage brisk walking (Active 10) supplemented with behavioural support in the form of two brief telephone/video calls, an information leaflet and walking planners. The primary outcomes will be feasibility and acceptability of the study procedures (e.g. recruitment/retention rate, acceptability of randomisation/intervention/outcome assessments). Demographic and medicalcharacteristics will be collected at baseline, through self-report and hospital records. Secondary outcomes for the pilot (assessed at 0 and 3 months) include accelerometer-measured and self-reported physical activity, as well as several other behavioural/quality of life outcomes. Qualitative interviews will explore experiences of participating or reasons for declining to participate. Parameters for the intended primary outcome measure (accelerometer measured average daily minutes of brisk walking (>100 steps/minute)) will inform a sample size calculation for the future RCT and a preliminary economic evaluation will be conducted. Results/Conclusion:To date, 39 participants have been recruited out of the target pilot sample of 90.This pilot study will inform the design of a larger RCT to investigate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this intervention in people LWBC.

    Gabriella N. Heuchan, Phillippa J. Lally, Rebecca J. Beeken, Abigail Fisher, Rana E. Conway (2023)Perception of a need to change weight in individuals living with and beyond breast, prostate and colorectal cancer: a cross-sectional survey, In: Journal of cancer survivorship Springer Nature

    PurposePeople living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) are advised to achieve a body mass index (BMI) within the healthy range (>= 18.5 and < 25). Not perceiving a need for weight change may be a barrier to achieving a healthy weight. This study aimed to explore factors associated with perceived need for weight change among people LWBC.MethodsAdults diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer were recruited through National Health Service sites in Essex and London. Participants (N = 5835) completed the 'Health and Lifestyle After Cancer' survey, which included a question on perceived need to change weight. Associations between perceived need for weight change and BMI, and perceived need for weight change and health and demographic variables, were analyzed using chi-square tests and logistic regression, respectively.ResultsThe proportion of participants perceiving a need to lose weight differed according to BMI category: healthy weight (23%), overweight (64%), obese (85%) (P < 0.001). Having overweight or obesity but not perceiving a need to lose weight was associated with being older, male, non-white, not married or cohabiting, and having cancer that had spread, no formal qualifications, no comorbidities, and having received chemotherapy.ConclusionsPerceived need to lose weight is prevalent among people LWBC with obesity and overweight. This group may be interested in weight management support. Demographic and health factors were associated with having obesity or overweight but not perceiving a need to lose weight.Implications for cancer survivorsWeight loss interventions for people LWBC are needed. A subset of people LWBC with overweight and obesity may need additional information or motivators to engage with weight management.

    Phillippa Lally, Natalie Ella Miller, Claire Lawrence, Rebecca J Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2023)Associations of self-reported and device-assessed physical activity with fatigue, quality of life, and sleep quality in adults living with and beyond cancer, In: Journal of sport and health science Elsevier B.V

    •Estimates of the percentage of cancer patient that are meeting physical activity guidelines vary widely between pedometer and self-report data.•Using either pedometer or self-report data an association is found between meeting physical activity guidelines and not experiencing severe fatigue, in cancer patients.•Associations, in cancer patients, between meeting physical activity guidelines and experiencing no quality of life issues or good sleep quality varied depending on the measure of activity used. Greater physical activity is associated with improved outcomes in people living with and beyond cancer. However, most studies in exercise oncology use self-reported measures of physical activity. Few have explored agreement between self-reported and device-based measures of physical activity in people living with and beyond cancer. This study aimed to describe physical activity in adults affected by cancer across self-reported and device-assessed activity, to explore levels of agreement between these measures in terms of their utility for categorizing participants as meeting/not meeting physical activity guidelines, and to explore whether meeting guidelines is associated with fatigue, quality of life, and sleep quality. A total of 1348 adults living with and beyond cancer from the Advancing Survivorship Cancer Outcomes Trial completed a survey assessing fatigue, quality of life, sleep quality, and physical activity. The Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to calculate a Leisure Score Index (LSI) and an estimate of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Average daily steps and weekly aerobic steps were derived from pedometers worn by participants. The percentage of individuals meeting physical activity guidelines was 44.3% using LSI, 49.5% using MVPA, 10.8% using average daily steps, and 28.5% using weekly aerobic steps. Agreement (Cohen's κ) between self-reported and pedometer measures ranged from 0.13 (LSI vs. average daily steps) to 0.60 (LSI vs. MVPA). After adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related covariates, meeting activity guidelines using all measures was associated with not experiencing severe fatigue (odds ratios (ORs): 1.43–1.97). Meeting guidelines using MVPA was associated with no quality-of-life issues (OR = 1.53). Meeting guidelines using both self-reported measures were associated with good sleep quality (ORs: 1.33–1.40). Less than half of all adults affected by cancer are meeting physical activity guidelines, regardless of measure. Meeting guidelines is associated with lower fatigue across all measures. Associations with quality of life and sleep differ depending on measure. Future research should consider the impact of physical activity measure on findings, and where possible, use multiple measures. [Display omitted]

    Fiona Kennedy, Phillippa Lally, Natalie Ella Miller, Rana E Conway, Anna Roberts, Helen Croker, Abigail Fisher, Rebecca J Beeken (2023)Fatigue, quality of life and associations with adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund guidelines for health behaviours in 5835 adults living with and beyond breast, prostate and colorectal cancer in England: A cross-sectional study, In: Cancer medicine (Malden, MA)12(11)pp. 12705-12716

    Many individuals living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) have ongoing quality of life (QoL) issues, including fatigue. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) provides health behaviour recommendations for people LWBC, and there is some evidence linking adherence to these with improved QoL. Adults LWBC (specifically breast, colorectal or prostate cancer) completed a survey covering health behaviours (diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking), fatigue (FACIT-Fatigue Scale, version 4) and a broad measure of QoL (EQ-5D-5L descriptive scale). Participants were categorised as meeting/not meeting WCRF recommendations, using the following cut-offs classified as meeting the guidelines: ≥150 min physical activity/week, fruit and vegetables (≥5 portions/day), fibre (≥30 g fibre per day), free sugar (

    Amanda L. Rebar, Phillippa Lally, Bas Verplanken, Svenne Diefenbacher, Dominika Kwasnicka, Ryan E. Rhodes, Pietro Lanzini, Dimitrios A. Koutoukidis, Tina A. G. Venema, Benjamin Gardner (2022)Changes in virus-transmission habits during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-national, repeated measures study, In: Psychology & health37(12)pp. 1626-1645 Routledge

    The COVID-19 pandemic saw promotion of novel virus transmission-reduction behaviours, and discouragement of familiar transmission-conducive behaviours. Understanding changes in the automatic nature of such behaviours is important, because habitual behaviours may be more easily reactivated in future outbreaks and disrupting old habits may discontinue unwanted behaviours. A repeated-measures, multi-national design tracked virus-transmission habits and behaviour fortnightly over six months (Apr-Sept 2020) among 517 participants (age M = 42 ± 16y, 79% female). Within-participant habit trajectories across all timepoints, and engagement in transmission-reduction behaviours (handwashing when entering home; handwashing with soap for 20 seconds; physical distancing) and transmission-conducive behaviours (coughing/sneezing into hands; making physical contact) summed over the final two timepoints. Three habit trajectory types were observed. Habits that remained strong ('stable strong habit') and habits that strengthened ('habit formation') were most common for transmission-reduction behaviours. Erosion of initially strong habits ('habit degradation') was most common for transmission-conducive behaviours. Regression analyses showed 'habit formation' and 'stable strong habit' trajectories were associated with greater behavioural engagement at later timepoints. Participants typically maintained or formed transmission-reduction habits, which encouraged later performance, and degraded transmission-conducive habits, which decreased performance. Findings suggest COVID-19-preventive habits may be recoverable in future virus outbreaks.

    Susan Smith, Phillippa Lally, Andrew Steptoe, Yanaina Chavez-Ugalde, Rebecca Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2024)Prevalence of loneliness and associations with health behaviours and body mass index in 5835 people living with and beyond cancer: a cross-sectional stud, In: BMC Public Health BioMedCentral

    Background: A cancer diagnosis and its treatment may be an especially isolating experience. Despite evidence that positive health behaviours can improve outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC), no studies have examined associations between loneliness and different health behaviours in this population. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of loneliness in a large sample of UK adults LWBC and to explore whether loneliness was associated with multiple health behaviours.Methods: Participants were adults (aged >18 years) diagnosed with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer who completed the Health and Lifestyle After Cancer Survey. Loneliness was reported using the UCLA loneliness score, dichotomised into higher (>6) versus lower (<6) loneliness. Engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, dietary intake, smoking status, alcohol use, and self-reported height and weight were recorded. Behaviours were coded to reflect meeting or not meeting the World Cancer Research Fund recommendations for people LWBC. Logistic regression analyses explored associations between loneliness and health behaviours. Covariates were age, sex, ethnicity, education, marital status, living situation, cancer type, spread and treatment, time since treatment, time since diagnosis and number of comorbid conditions. Multiple imputation was used to account for missing data.Results: 5835 participants, mean age 67.4 (standard deviation=11.8) years, completed the survey. 56% were female (n=3266) and 44% (n=2553) male, and 48% (n=2786) were living with or beyond breast cancer, 32% (n=1839) prostate, and 21% (n=1210) colorectal. Of 5485 who completed the loneliness scale, 81% (n=4423) of participants reported lower and 19% (n=1035) higher loneliness. After adjustment for confounders, those reporting higher levels of loneliness had lower odds of meeting the WCRF recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.78. 95% Confidence Internal [CI], 0.67, 0.97, p=.028), fruit and vegetable intake (OR 0.81, CI 0.67, 1.00, p=.046), and smoking (OR 0.62, 0.46, 0.84, p=0.003). No association was observed between loneliness and the other dietary behaviours, alcohol, or body mass index.Conclusions: Loneliness is relatively common in people LWBC and may represent an unmet need. People LWBC who experience higher levels of loneliness may need additional support to improve their health behaviours.

    Alison Fildes, Philippa Lally, Fiona Johnson, Michelle Morris, Helen Croker, Phillippa Lally (2018)Impact on purchasing behaviour of implementing junk free checkouts: a pre–post study, In: The Lancet (British edition)392pp. S35-S35 Elsevier Ltd

    Removing unhealthy products from checkouts will arguably reduce impulse purchasing, but evidence is lacking. In 2015, Tesco Express stores implemented so-called healthy checkouts; products high in sugar, fat, or salt (defined by national Nutrient Profiling Model criteria) were removed from in-queue areas. We aimed to compare the purchasing of unhealthy foods before and after its introduction. Tesco provided store-level sales data for 1151 Tesco Express stores in England over two 8 week periods (May–July in 2014 and 2015). We used paired t tests to examine whether spend on unhealthy foods (biscuits, cakes, crisps, confectionary) as a proportion of total spend changed in 2015 versus 2014. Analyses were repeated for the quantity of unhealthy products sold. Unannounced store visits (n=41) were conducted by three researchers (in London, the South East, the North West, and Yorkshire and Humber) to measure compliance (ie, whether prohibited products were displayed in-queue). Complete sales data were available for 1101 stores (96%). Mean overall spend increased in 2015 compared with 2014 (£666 079·70 [SD 406 385·00] vs £653 786·59 [SD 447 580·77], p

    Benjamin Gardner, Phillippa Lally (2018)Modelling Habit Formation and Its Determinants, In: The Psychology of Habitpp. 207-229 Springer International Publishing

    Habitual actions are elicited automatically in associated settings, bypassing conscious motivation. This has prompted interest in habit formation as a mechanism for sustaining behaviour change when conscious motivation erodes. Promoting habit depends on understanding how habit develops. This chapter reviews theory and evidence around the habit formation process. First, we describe the few, recent studies that have explicitly sought to study habit development for meaningful activities in humans. Next, we outline a framework for understanding the habit formation process, and narratively review evidence regarding the factors that may directly facilitate or impede habit development, generating hypotheses for future studies. We offer practical suggestions for optimal modelling of habit formation and its determinants.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Amanda L Rebar, Phillippa Lally (2020)Habit interventions, In: The Handbook of Behaviour Changepp. 599-616 Cambridge University Press
    Dikshyanta Rana, Sophie Westrop, Nishant Jaiswal, Evi Germeni, Arlene McGarty, Louisa Ells, Phillippa Lally, Michael McEwan, Craig Melville, Leanne Harris, Olivia Wu (2023)Lifestyle Modification Interventions for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis at Intervention and Component Levels, In: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research Wiley

    Background: Adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) are susceptible to multiple health risk behaviours such as alcohol consumption, smoking, low physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and poor diet. Lifestyle modification interventions can prevent or reduce negative health consequences caused by these behaviours. We aim to determine the effectiveness of lifestyle modification interventions and their components in targeting health risk behaviours in adults with IDs. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. Electronic databases, clinical trial registries, grey literature, and citations of systematic reviews and included studies were searched in January 2021 (updated February 2022). Randomised controlled trials and non-randomised controlled trials targeting alcohol consumption, smoking, low physical activity, sedentary behaviours, and poor diet in adults (aged≥18 years) with ID were included. Meta-analysis was conducted at the intervention-level (pairwise and network meta-analysis) and the component-level (component network meta-analysis). Studies were coded using Michie’s 19-item theory coding scheme and 94-item behaviour change taxonomies. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's Risk of Bias Assessment Tool (RoB Version 2) for RCTs and Risk of Bias in Non-randomised Studies - of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool for non-RCTs. The study involved a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group, including people with lived experience, who contributed extensively by shaping the methodology, providing valuable insights in interpreting results, and organising of dissemination events. Results: Our literature search identified 12,180 articles, of which 80 studies with 4,805 participants were included in the review. The complexity of lifestyle modification intervention was dismantled by identifying six core components that influenced outcomes. Interventions targeting single or multiple health risk behaviours could have a single or combination of multiple core-components. Interventions (2 RCTS; 4 non-RCTs; 228 participants) targeting alcohol consumption and smoking behaviour were effective but based on limited evidence. Similarly, interventions targeting low physical activity only (16 RCTs; 17 non-RCTs; 1413 participants) or multiple behaviours (low physical activity only, sedentary behaviours, and poor diet) (17 RCTs; 24 non-RCTs; 3164 participants) yielded mixed effectiveness in outcomes. Most interventions targeting low physical activity only and multiple behaviours generated positive effects on various outcomes, while some interventions led to no change or worsened outcomes which could be attributed to the presence of a single core component or a combination of similar core components in interventions. The intervention-level meta-analysis for weight management outcomes showed that none of the interventions were associated with a statistically significant change in outcomes when compared to treatment-as-usual. Interventions with core-components combination of energy deficit diet, aerobic exercise and behaviour change techniques showed the highest weight loss (MD=-3.61,95% CrI -9.68 – 1.95) and those with core-components combination dietary advice and aerobic exercise showed a weight gain (MD 0.94, 95% CrI -3.93 to 4.91). Similar findings were found with the components network meta-analysis for which additional components were identified. Studies had a high and moderate risk of bias. Various theories and behaviour change techniques were used in intervention development and adaptation. Conclusion: Our systematic review is the first to comprehensively explore lifestyle modification interventions targeting a range of single and multiple health risk behaviours in adults with ID, co-produced with people with lived experience. It has practical implications for future research as it highlights the importance of mixed-methods research in understanding lifestyle modification interventions and the need for population-specific improvements in the field (e.g., tailored interventions, development of evaluation instruments or tools, use of rigorous research methodologies, and comprehensive reporting frameworks). Wide dissemination of related knowledge and the involvement of PPI groups, including people with lived experience, will help future researchers design interventions that consider the unique needs, desires, and abilities of people with ID.

    Background Individuals living with and beyond cancer are at heightened risk of adverse psychological and social outcomes and experiences. In March 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic presented a unique set of social circumstances with the potential to exacerbate the challenges faced by this population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of people living with and beyond cancer during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and assess the impact on psychological and social aspects of their lives. Methods From a pool of participants from a larger health behaviours study thirty participants were purposively sampled for characteristics including: diagnostic group (breast, prostate and colorectal cancers), gender, time since diagnosis and age. Semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone to discuss their experience of living through the pandemic. A thematic analysis was conducted using a needs-based approach to detail the fundamental needs expressed by this population in relation to their mental health and quality of life during the pandemic. Results Three fundamental needs underpinned the experiences expressed by participants: the need to feel safe; particularly in relation to risk of contracting COVID-19 and their ongoing cancer monitoring; the need to feel connected; to the people, places, activities and practices of everyday life; and the need to make the most out of life; specifically in context of having already endured cancer and cancer treatment. Participant experiences are described in relation to how they impacted each of these three needs. Conclusions People living with and beyond cancer have past and ongoing experiences that make them vulnerable to adverse psychosocial reactions and outcomes. Support for this population needs to provide greater clarity of risk, clearer guidelines specific to their personal circumstances, and regular updates on scheduling of important follow up care and monitoring.

    Katie S. Taylor, Rebecca J. Beeken, Abi Fisher, Phillippa Lally (2023)Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the dietary intake of individuals living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer and who were most likely to experience change?, In: Supportive Care in Cancer31(10)585 Springer

    Purpose The present work investigated dietary changes amongst individuals living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) from before to during the pandemic. To identify those at greatest risk of unhealthy changes, it was further examined whether patterns varied by sociodemographic, health-related, and COVID-19-related characteristics. Methods This longitudinal cohort study analysed data from 716 individuals LWBC participating in the Advancing Survivorship Cancer Outcomes Trial (ASCOT). Using data provided before and during the pandemic, changes in fruit and vegetable, snack, and alcohol intake were tested using mixed-effect regression models. Results Fruit and vegetable (95%CI: − 0.30; − 0.04) and alcohol consumption (95%CI: − 1.25; − 0.31) decreased, whilst snacking increased (95%CI: 0.19; 0.53). Women and individuals with limited social contact were more likely to reduce fruit and vegetable intake during the pandemic. Women and individuals with poorer sleep quality, limited social contact, and shielding requirements and without higher education were more likely to increase snacking during the pandemic. Individuals with poorer sleep quality, poorer mental health, and regular social contact were more likely to decrease alcohol consumption during the pandemic. Conclusions Findings suggest decreased intake for fruit, vegetable, and alcohol consumption and increased snack intake in response to the pandemic amongst individuals LWBC. These changes appear to differ across various characteristics, suggesting the pandemic has not equally impacted everyone in this population. Findings highlight the need for targeted post-COVID strategies to support individuals LWBC most adversely affected by the pandemic, including women and socially isolated individuals. This encourages resources to be prioritised amongst these groups to prevent further negative impact of the pandemic. Whilst the findings are statistically significant, practically they appear less important. This is necessary to acknowledge when considering interventions and next steps.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Amanda L. Rebar, Phillippa Lally (2022)How does habit form? Guidelines for tracking real-world habit formation, In: Cogent psychology9(1) Cogent

    Advances in understanding how habit forms can help people change their behaviour in ways that make them happier and healthier. Making behaviour habitual, such that people automatically act in associated contexts due to learned context-response associations, offers a mechanism for maintaining new, desirable behaviours even when conscious motivation wanes. This has prompted interest in understanding how habit forms in the real world. To reliably inform intervention design, habit formation studies must be conceptually and methodologically sound. This paper proposes methodological criteria for studies tracking real-world habit formation, or potential moderators of the effect of repetition on formation. A narrative review of habit theory was undertaken to extract essential and desirable criteria for modelling how habit forms in naturalistic settings, and factors that influence the relationship between repetition and formation. Next, a methodological review identified exemplary real-world habit formation studies according to these criteria. Fourteen methodological criteria, capturing study design (four criteria), measurement (six criteria), and analysis and interpretation (four criteria), were derived from the narrative review. Five extant studies were found to meet our criteria. Adherence to these criteria should increase the likelihood that studies will offer revealing conclusions about how habits develop in real-world settings.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, RR RICHARDS, Phillippa Lally, Amanda L. Rebar, Tanya Thwaite, RJ Beeken (2021)Breaking habits or breaking habitual behaviours? Old habits as a neglected factor in weight loss maintenance, In: Appetite162105183 ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD

    Maintaining weight loss requires long-term behaviour change. Theory and evidence around habitual behaviour ? i.e., action triggered by impulses that are automatically activated upon exposure to cues, due to learned cueaction associations ? can aid development of interventions to support weight loss maintenance. Specifically, weight loss is more likely to be sustained where people develop new habits that support weight management, and break old habits that may undermine such efforts. Interventions seeking to break ?bad? weight-related habits have focused on inhibiting unwanted impulses or avoiding cues. This paper draws attention to the possibility that while such approaches may discontinue habitual behaviour, underlying habit associations may remain. We use evidence from existing qualitative studies to demonstrate that, left unchecked, unwanted habit associations can render people prone to lapsing into old patterns of unhealthy behaviours when motivation or willpower is momentarily weakened, or when returning to familiar settings following temporarily discontinued exposure. We highlight six behaviour change techniques especially suited to disrupting habit associations, but show that these techniques have been underused in weight loss maintenance interventions to date. We call for intervention developers and practitioners to adopt techniques conducive to forming new habit associations to directly override old habits, and to use the persistence of unwanted habit associations as a potential indicator of longterm weight loss intervention effectiveness.

    R Conway, S Esser, M Michalopoulou, V Ireland, P Lally, R Beeken, A Fisher, H Croker (2020)Use of online dietary recalls to assess adherence to dietary guidelines in people living with and beyond cancer: feasibility and process requirements for ASCOT, In: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society79(OCE1) Cambridge University Press
    S Esser, R Conway, M Michalopoulou, V Ireland, P Lally, R Beeken, A Fisher, H Croker (2020)Adapting a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intake of people living with and beyond cancer, In: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society79(OCE1) Cambridge University Press
    Rana E. Conway, Freyja Rigler, Helen A. Croker, Phillippa J. Lally, Rebecca J. Beeken, Abi Fisher (2022)Dietary supplement use by individuals living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer: A cross-sectional survey, In: Cancer128(6)pp. 1331-1338 Wiley

    Background Dietary supplements (DSs) are not recommended for the prevention of cancer recurrence. Although DS use is common in individuals living with and beyond cancer, its associations with beliefs about reduced cancer recurrence risk and demographic and health behaviors are unclear. Methods Adults (18 years old or older) who had been diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer were recruited through National Health Service sites in Essex and London. Participants completed a mailed survey and telephone or online 24-hour dietary recalls (MyFood24). Supplement use was collected during the dietary recalls. Associations between DS use and demographics, health behaviors, and beliefs about DSs and cancer were explored. Results Nineteen percent of 1049 individuals believed that DSs were important for the reduction of cancer recurrence risk, and 40% of individuals reported DS use. DS use was positively associated with being female (odds ratio [OR], 2.48; confidence interval [CI], 1.72-3.56), meeting 5-a-day fruit and vegetable recommendations (OR, 1.36; CI, 1.02-1.82), and believing that DSs were important for reducing cancer recurrence risk (OR, 3.13; CI, 2.35-4.18). DS use was negatively associated with having obesity (OR, 0.58; CI, 0.38-0.87). The most commonly taken DSs overall were fish oils (taken by 13%). Calcium with or without vitamin D was the most common DS taken by individuals with breast cancer (15%). Conclusions DS use by individuals living with and beyond cancer is associated with demographic factors and health behaviors. A belief that DSs reduce the risk of cancer recurrence is common and positively associated with DS use. There is a need for health care professionals to provide advice about DS use and cancer recurrence risk.

    Natalie Gil, Abigail Fisher, Rebecca J. Beeken, Simon Pini, Natalie Miller, Caroline Buck, Phillippa Lally, Rana Conway (2022)The role of partner support for health behaviours in people living with and beyond cancer: A qualitative study, In: Psycho-oncology (Chichester, England)31(11)pp. 1997-2006
    Silje Aronsen, Rana Conway, Phillippa Lally, Anna Roberts, Helen Croker, Rebecca J Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2022)Determinants of sleep quality in 5835 individuals living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer: a cross-sectional survey, In: Journal of cancer survivorship16(6)pp. 1489-1501

    The present study aimed to quantify the level of sleep problems in 5835 breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors, and explore a number of potential determinants of poor sleep quality in the present sample. BMI, diet, and physical activity were of particular interest as potential determinants. Participants who completed the 'Health and Lifestyle after Cancer' survey were adults who had been diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer (mean time since cancer diagnosis was 35.5 months, SD=13.56). Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. BMI was calculated from self-reported height and weight. Participants were categorised as meeting/not meeting the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommendations for fibre, fruit and vegetables, added sugar, red meat, processed meat, fat, alcohol, and physical activity. Analyses accounted for demographic and clinical factors. Fifty-seven percent of those with sleep data were classified as poor sleepers (response rate 79%). Being female, having a higher number of cancer treatments, more comorbid conditions, and being more anxious/depressed increased the odds of being a poor sleeper. After adjustment for these factors, there were no associations between diet/alcohol/physical activity and sleep. However, BMI was associated with sleep. Individuals in the overweight and obese categories had 22% and 79% higher odds of being poor sleepers than individuals in the underweight/healthy weight category, respectively. The findings suggest that there may be a need to develop sleep quality interventions for cancer survivors with obesity. Even after adjustment for multiple clinical and demographic factors, BMI (particularly obesity) was associated with poor sleep. Thus, researchers and health professionals should find ways to support individuals with overweight and obesity to improve their sleep quality. The present findings highlight that poor sleep is a common issue in cancer survivors. Interventions seeking to improve outcomes for cancer survivors over the longer term should consider sleep quality.

    Background: Health behaviour models typically neglect habitual action. The Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) permits synthesis of evidence of the influence of habit on behaviour. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to review evidence around mean habit strength, habit-behaviour correlations, and habit × intention interactions, from applications of the SRHI to dietary, physical activity, and active travel behaviour. Method: Electronic database searches identified 126 potentially relevant papers. Twenty-two papers (21 datasets) passed eligibility screening. Mean scores and correlations were meta-analysed using fixed, random and mixed effects, and interactions were synthesised via narrative review. Results: Twenty-three habit-behaviour correlations and nine habit × intention interaction tests were found. Typical habit strength was located around the SRHI midpoint. Weighted habit-behaviour effects were medium-to-strong (fixed: r = 0.44; random: r = 0.46). Eight tests found that habit moderated the intention-behaviour relation. Conclusion: More comprehensive understanding of nutrition and activity behaviours will be achieved by accounting for habitual responses to contextual cues.

    Alison Fildes, Phillippa Lally, Michelle A. Morris, Alexandra Dalton, Helen Croker (2022)Impact on purchasing behaviour of implementing 'junk free checkouts': A pre-post study, In: Nutrition bulletin47(3)pp. 333-345 Wiley

    In 2015, Tesco Express convenience stores implemented a healthy checkouts initiative; products high in fat, salt or sugar were removed from in-queue areas. We compare purchasing of less healthy foods before and after its introduction. Tesco provided store-level sales data (n = 1151) for Express stores in England over two 8-week periods, May-July 2014 and 2015. Paired t-tests examined if spending on less healthy foods (biscuits, cakes, crisps and confectionery), as a proportion of total spend, changed between 2015 and 2014. Analyses were repeated for the quantity of less healthy products sold. Compliance was measured through unannounced store visits (n = 41). Complete sales data were available for 1101 stores (96%). Mean overall spend increased in 2015 compared with 2014 (666 pound 079.70 [SD 406 385.00] vs. 653 pound 786.59 [SD 447 580.77]; p < 0.001). The proportion of total spend from less healthy foods decreased in 2015 versus 2014 (8.03% [SD 2.07] vs. 8.21% [SD 2.17]; p < 0.001). Confectionery accounted for the largest proportion of less healthy product spend, showing the biggest reduction (3.91% [SD 1.16] in 2015 vs. 4.12% [SD 1.24] in 2014; p < 0.001). Results were similar for quantity of less healthy products sold. Like-for-like sales data from major supermarkets revealed spend on less healthy products rose across the UK over this period. Thirty-nine per cent of stores were fully compliant. In conclusion, following implementation of Tesco's healthier checkouts initiative, there was a small reduction in sales of less healthy foods, largely accounted for by confectionery products. These findings suggest that removal of less healthy products from checkouts might lead to healthier purchasing behaviour. However, store compliance was poor, suggesting scope for improvement.

    Natalie Miller, Rana Conway, Simon Pini, Caroline Buck, Natalie Gil, Phillippa Lally, Rebecca J. Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2022)Exploring the perceived impact of social support on the health behaviours of people living with and beyond cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study, In: Supportive care in cancer30(10)pp. 8357-8366 Springer Nature

    Purpose Social support facilitated healthy behaviours in people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) before the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about how social support impacted their health behaviours during the pandemic when social restrictions were imposed. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore how social support was perceived to impact the health behaviours of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone with 24 adults living with and beyond breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Inductive and deductive framework analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Five themes developed. These were (1) Companionship and accountability as motivators for physical activity, (2) Social influences on alcohol consumption, (3) Instrumental support in food practices, (4) Informational support as important for behaviour change and (5) Validation of health behaviours from immediate social networks. Conclusion This study described how companionship, social influence, instrumental support, informational support and validation were perceived to impact the health behaviours of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions for people LWBC could recommend co-participation in exercise with friends and family; promote the formation of collaborative implementation intentions with family to reduce alcohol consumption; and encourage supportive communication between partners about health behaviours. These interventions would be useful during pandemics and at other times. Government policies to help support clinically extremely vulnerable groups of people LWBC during pandemics should focus on providing access to healthier foods.

    Chloe Grimmett, Claire Foster, Katherine Bradbury, Phillippa Lally, Carl R May, Michelle Myall, Bernardine Pinto, Teresa Corbett (2020)Exploring maintenance of physical activity behaviour change among people living with and beyond gastrointestinal cancer: a cross-sectional qualitative study and typology, In: BMJ open10(10)pp. e037136-e037136

    ObjectivesIn the last decade, there has been a rapid expansion of physical activity (PA) promotion programmes and interventions targeting people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC). The impact that these initiatives have on long-term maintenance of PA remains under-researched. This study sought to explore the experiences of participants in order to characterise those who have and have not successfully sustained increases in PA following participation in a PA intervention after a diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, and identify barriers and facilitators of this behaviour.DesignCross-sectional qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews with participants who had previously taken part in a PA programme in the UK, explored current and past PA behaviour and factors that promoted or inhibited regular PA participation. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Themes and subthemes were identified. Differences between individuals were recognised and a typology of PA engagement was developed.ParticipantsTwenty-seven individuals (n=15 male, mean age=66.3 years) with a diagnosis of GI cancer who had participated in one of four interventions designed to encourage PA participation.SettingUK.ResultsSeven themes were identified: disease processes, the role of ageing, emotion and psychological well-being, incorporating PA into everyday life, social interaction, support and self-monitoring and competing demands. A typology with three types describing long-term PA engagement was generated: (1) maintained PA, (2) intermittent PA, (3) low activity. Findings indicate that identifying an enjoyable activity that is appropriate to an individual’s level of physical functioning and is highly valued is key to supporting long-term PA engagement.ConclusionThe typology described here can be used to guide stratified and personalised intervention development and support sustained PA engagement by people LWBC.

    Rana Conway, Gabriella Heuchan, Helen Croker, Sara Esser, Victoria Ireland, Phillippa Lally, Rebecca Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2022)Comparison between Self-Completed and Interviewer-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recalls in Cancer Survivors: Sampling Bias and Differential Reporting, In: Nutrients14(24)

    Self-completed 24 h dietary recalls (24-HRs) are increasingly used for research and national dietary surveillance. It is unclear how difficulties with self-completion affect response rates and sample characteristics. This study identified factors associated with being unable to self-complete an online 24-HR but willing to do so with an interviewer. Baseline 24-HRs from the ASCOT Trial were analysed ( = 1224). Adults who had been diagnosed with cancer in the past seven years and completed treatment, were invited to self-complete 24-HRs online using myfood24 . Non-completers were offered an interviewer-administered 24-HR. One third of participants willing to provide dietary data, were unable to self-complete a 24-HR. This was associated with being older, non-white and not educated to degree level. Compared to interviewer-administered 24-HRs, self-completed 24-HRs included 25% fewer items and reported lower intakes of energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar. This study highlights how collection of dietary data via online self-completed 24-HRs, without the provision of an alternative method, contributes to sampling bias. As dietary surveys are used for service and policy planning it is essential to widen inclusion. Optimisation of 24-HR tools might increase usability but interviewer-administered 24-HRs may be the only suitable option for some individuals.

    Phillippa Lally, Cornelia H. M VAN JAARSVELD, Henry W. W Potts, Jane Wardle (2010)How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world, In: European journal of social psychology40(6)pp. 998-1009 Wiley
    Phillippa Lally, Lucy Cooke, Laura McGowan, Helen Croker, Naomi Bartle, Jane Wardle (2012)Parents' misperceptions of social norms for pre-school children's snacking behaviour, In: Public health nutrition15(9)pp. 1678-1682 Cambridge Univ Press

    Objective: Misperception of social norms may result in normalising unhealthy behaviours. The present study tested the hypothesis that parents overestimate both the frequency of unhealthy snacking in pre-school children other than their own (descriptive norms) and its acceptability to other parents (injunctive norms). Design: A cross-sectional, self-report community survey. Questions assessed the frequency with which respondents' own child ate unhealthy snacks and their beliefs about the appropriate frequency for children to snack. Perceived descriptive norms were assessed by asking parents to estimate how often other 2-4 year-old children in their area ate snacks. Perceived injunctive norms were assessed by asking them about other parents' beliefs regarding the appropriate frequency for snacks. Misperceptions were assessed from (i) the difference between the prevalence of daily snacking and parents' perceived prevalence and (ii) the difference between acceptability of daily snacking and parents' beliefs about its acceptability to others. Setting: Pre-schools and children's centres in one borough of London, UK. Subjects: Parents (n 432) of children age 2-4 years. Results: On average, parents believed that more than half of 'other' children had snacks at least daily, while prevalence data indicated this occurred in only 10% of families. The same discrepancy was observed for perceived injunctive norms: parents overestimated other parents' acceptance of frequent snacking, with two-thirds of parents having a self v. others discrepancy. Conclusions: Misperceptions were identified for descriptive and injunctive norms for children's snacking. Accurate information could create less permissive norms and motivate parents to limit their child's intake of unhealthy snacks.

    Sarah Breathnach, Phillippa Lally, Clare H. Llewellyn, Alex Sutherland, Dimitrios A. Koutoukidis (2022)Strategies to reduce the energy content of foods pre-ordered for lunch in the workplace: a randomised controlled trial in an experimental online canteen, In: The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity19(1)pp. 54-54 Springer Nature

    Background: Prompting employees to swap their usual lunches for lower-energy alternatives may help align energy intake with public health recommendations. We tested the effect of offering lower-energy swaps with and without physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) information on the energy of lunches pre-ordered in an online hypothetical workplace canteen. Methods: UK employed adults (n = 2,150) were invited to hypothetically pre-order their lunch from the canteen through a custom-made online platform. They were randomised 1:1:1 to: (i) control: no swaps offered; (ii) lowerenergy swaps offered; or (iii) lower-energy swaps offered with PACE information. The primary outcome was the total energy ordered using analysis of covariance and controlling for the energy content of the initial items ordered. Secondary outcomes were swap acceptance rate and intervention acceptability. Results: Participants were 54% female, had a mean age of 36.8 (SD= 11.6) and a BMI of 26.3 (SD = 5.6). Compared with an average 819 kcal energy ordered in the control, both the swaps and swaps + PACE interventions significantly reduced average energy ordered by 47 kcal (95% CI: -82 to -13, p = 0.003) and 66 kcal (95% CI: -100 to -31, p

    Phillippa Lally, Naomi Bartle, Jane Wardle (2011)Social norms and diet in adolescents, In: Appetite57(3)pp. 623-627 Elsevier

    We hypothesized that adolescents misperceive social norms for food consumption, and aimed to test this, and examine associations between perceived norms and dietary behaviours. School pupils (n = 264) in the UK, aged 16-19 years, completed a questionnaire about their own attitudes to, and intake of, fruits and vegetables, unhealthy snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks, and their perceptions of their peers' attitudes to (injunctive norms), and intake of (descriptive norms), the same foods. Misperceptions were calculated from differences between perceived norms and median self-reports of peer groups. Respondents overestimated their peers' intake of snacks by 1.8 portions a week, and sugar-sweetened drinks by 5.2 portions, and overestimated how positive their peers' attitudes were towards these behaviours. They underestimated their peers' consumption of fruits and vegetables by 3.2 portions per week and how positive their peers' attitudes were towards fruit and vegetables. Descriptive norms were strongly associated with intake of fruit and vegetables, sugar-sweetened drinks, and unhealthy snacks, explaining between 17% and 22% of the variance in consumption. There was no association between injunctive norms and intake. Descriptive norms indicated that misperceptions of peers' food intake were associated with respondents' own intake. Interventions to correct misperceptions have the potential to improve adolescents' diets. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    David T. Neal, Wendy Wood, Jennifer S. Labrecque, Phillippa Lally (2012)How do habits guide behavior? Perceived and actual triggers of habits in daily life, In: Journal of experimental social psychology48(2)pp. 492-498 Elsevier

    What are the psychological mechanisms that trigger habits in daily life? Two studies reveal that strong habits are influenced by context cues associated with past performance (e.g., locations) but are relatively unaffected by current goals. Specifically, performance contexts but not goals automatically triggered strongly habitual behaviors in memory (Experiment 1) and triggered overt habit performance (Experiment 2). Nonetheless, habits sometimes appear to be linked to goals because people self-perceive their habits to be guided by goals. Furthermore, habits of moderate strength are automatically influenced by goals, yielding a curvilinear, U-shaped relation between habit strength and actual goal influence. Thus, research that taps self-perceptions or moderately strong habits may find habits to be linked to goals. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Phillippa Lally, Rebecca J Beeken, Rose Wilson, Rumana Omar, Rachael Hunter, Sally Fovargue, Diana Anderson, Michael King, Angela Hassiotis, Helen Croker (2022)A manualised weight management programme for adults with mild-moderate intellectual disabilities affected by excess weight: A randomised controlled feasibility trial (Shape Up-LD), In: Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities35(1)pp. 112-122

    The aim was to pilot an adapted manualised weight management programme for persons with mild-moderate intellectual disabilities affected by overweight or obesity ('Shape Up-LD'). Adults with intellectual disabilities were enrolled in a 6-month trial (3-month active intervention and 3-month follow-up) and were individually randomised to Shape Up-LD or a usual care control. Feasibility outcomes included recruitment, retention, initial effectiveness and cost. Fifty people were enrolled. Follow-up rates were 78% at 3 months and 74% at 6 months. At 3 and 6 months, controlling for baseline weight, no difference was observed between groups (3 months: β: -0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.38, 1.69, 6 months: β: -0.55, 95%CI -4.34, 3.24). It may be possible to carry out a trial of Shape Up-LD, although barriers to recruitment, carer engagement and questionnaire completion need to be addressed, alongside refinements to the intervention.

    S. Breathnach, D. A. Koutoukidis, P. Lally, D. Boniface, A. Sutherland, C. H. Llewellyn (2021)The effect of messaging on the acceptance of swaps to reduce the energy content of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks ordered in an experimental online workplace canteen: A randomised controlled trial, In: Appetite162pp. 105171-105171 Elsevier

    Finding effective ways to increase acceptance of lower-energy swaps offered for snacks and non-alcoholic drinks may reduce population energy intake. We examined whether incrementally increasing the tangibility of information accompanying swaps offered increased their acceptance. UK adults (n = 3481) selected a sweet snack, a savoury snack, and a drink in an experimental online canteen after being equally randomised to receive one of four messages when swaps were offered; a control message providing no specific information, a vague calorie message, an exact numeric-calories message or, a physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE). Primary outcomes were the between-group differences in (i) the odds that a sweet, savoury, or drink swap would be accepted and (ii) the energy content for each type of item ordered. Compared with control, the numeric-calories and PACE messages significantly increased the odds of accepting a sweet snack swap. All interventions significantly increased the odds of accepting savoury swaps compared with control. Only the PACE message significantly increased the odds of drink swap acceptance. The numeric-calories and PACE messages significantly reduced the energy content of sweet snacks. All interventions significantly reduced the energy content of savoury snacks. None of the intervention messages significantly reduced the energy content of drinks compared with control. Increasing the tangibility of information provided when offering swaps increased swap acceptance. PACE messaging was the most promising.

    Jan Keller, Dominika Kwasnicka, Patrick Klaiber, Lena Sichert, Phillippa Lally, Lena Fleig (2021)Habit formation following routine-based versus time-based cue planning: A randomized controlled trial, In: British journal of health psychology26(3)pp. 807-824 Wiley

    Objectives Habit formation has been identified as one of the key determinants of behaviour change. To initiate habit formation, self-regulation interventions can support individuals to form a cue-behaviour plan and to repeatedly enact the plan in the same context. This randomized controlled trial aimed to model habit formation of an everyday nutrition behaviour and examined whether habit formation and plan enactment differ when individuals plan to enact their behaviour in response to a routine-based versus time-based cue. Design Following a baseline assessment, N = 192 adults (aged 18-77 years) were randomly assigned to a routine-based cue or a time-based cue planning intervention, in which they selected an everyday nutrition behaviour and linked it to a daily routine or a time cue. Methods Participants responded to daily questionnaires over 84 days assessing plan enactment and the behaviour's automaticity (as an indicator of habit formation). Multilevel models with days nested in participants were fitted. Results As indicated by asymptotic curves, it took a median of 59 days for participants who successfully formed habits to reach peak automaticity. Group-level analyses revealed that both routine-based and time-based cue planning led to increases in automaticity and plan enactment, but no between-condition differences were found. Repeated plan enactment was a key predictor for automaticity. Conclusions Linking one's nutrition behaviour to a daily routine or a specific time was similarly effective for habit formation. Interventions should encourage persons to repeatedly carry out their planned behaviour in response to the planned cue to facilitate habit formation.

    P Lally, N Miller, A Roberts, R J Beeken, D M Greenfield, HWW Potts, N Counsell, N Latimer, C Thomas, L Smith, J Gath, F Kennedy, C Martin, L Wyld, A Fisher (2022)An app with brief behavioural support to promote physical activity after a cancer diagnosis (APPROACH): study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

    BACKGROUND: There are multiple health benefits from participating in physical activity after a cancer diagnosis, but many people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) are not meeting physical activity guidelines. App-based interventions offer a promising platform for intervention delivery. This trial aims to pilot a theory-driven, app-based intervention that promotes brisk walking among people living with and beyond cancer. The primary aim is to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of study procedures before conducting a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT). METHODS: This is an individually randomised, two-armed pilot RCT. Patients with localised or metastatic breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer, who are aged 16 years or over, will be recruited from a single hospital site in South Yorkshire in the UK. The intervention includes an app designed to encourage brisk walking (Active 10) supplemented with habit-based behavioural support in the form of two brief telephone/video calls, an information leaflet, and walking planners. The primary outcomes will be feasibility and acceptability of the study procedures. Demographic and medical characteristics will be collected at baseline, through self-report and hospital records. Secondary outcomes for the pilot (assessed at 0 and 3 months) will be accelerometer measured and self-reported physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, and patient-reported outcomes of quality of life, fatigue, sleep, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and habit strength for walking. Qualitative interviews will explore experiences of participating or reasons for declining to participate. Parameters for the intended primary outcome measure (accelerometer measured average daily minutes of brisk walking (≥ 100 steps/min)) will inform a sample size calculation for the future RCT and a preliminary economic evaluation will be conducted. DISCUSSION: This pilot study will inform the design of a larger RCT to investigate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this intervention in people LWBC.

    P. Lally, A. Chipperfield, J. Wardle (2008)Healthy habits: efficacy of simple advice on weight control based on a habit-formation model, In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBESITY32(4)pp. 700-707 Springer Nature

    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a simple weight loss intervention, based on principles of habit formation. Design: An exploratory trial in which overweight and obese adults were randomized either to a habit- based intervention condition ( with two subgroups given weekly vs monthly weighing; n = 33, n = 36) or to a waiting- list control condition ( n = 35) over 8 weeks. Intervention participants were followed up for 8 months. Participants: A total of 104 adults ( 35 men, 69 women) with an average BMI of 30.9 kgm(-2). Intervention: Intervention participants were given a leaflet containing advice on habit formation and simple recommendations for eating and activity behaviours promoting negative energy balance, together with a self- monitoring checklist. Main outcome measures: Weight change over 8 weeks in the intervention condition compared with the control condition and weight loss maintenance over 32 weeks in the intervention condition. Results: At 8 weeks, people in the intervention condition had lost significantly more weight ( mean = 2.0 kg) than those in the control condition ( 0.4 kg), with no difference between weekly and monthly weighing subgroups. At 32 weeks, those who remained in the study had lost an average of 3.8 kg, with 54% losing 5% or more of their body weight. An intention- to- treat analysis ( based on last- observation- carried- forward) reduced this to 2.6 kg, with 26% achieving a 5% weight loss. Conclusions: This easily disseminable, low- cost, simple intervention produced clinically significant weight loss. In limited resource settings it has potential as a tool for obesity management.

    Aleksandra Herbec, Verena Schneider, Abigail Fisher, Dimitra Kale, Lion Shahab, Phillippa Lally (2022)Correlates of and changes in aerobic physical activity and strength training before and after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: findings from the HEBECO study, In: BMJ open12(6)pp. e054029-e054029 Bmj Publishing Group

    Objectives Understanding changes in moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity (MVPA) and muscle-strengthening activity (MSA) at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and their correlates (socio-demographics, health characteristics, living and exercise conditions and pre-pandemic MVPA/MSA) can inform interventions. Design A cross-sectional analysis of retrospective and concurrent data on MVPA/MSA. Setting An online survey in the UK. Participants 2657 adults (weighted n=2442, 53.6% women) participating in the baseline survey (29 April 2020-14 June 2020) of the HEalth BEhaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic (HEBECO) study. Primary and secondary outcome measures Meeting WHO-recommended levels for MVPA/MSA/both (vs meeting neither) during the first lockdown and changes in MVPA/MSA from before to since the COVID-19 pandemic following stratification for pre-pandemic MVPA/MSA. Results A third of adults maintained (30.4%), decreased (36.2%) or increased (33.4%) MVPA. For MSA, the percentages were 61.6%, 18.2% and 20.2%, respectively. MVPA increased or decreased by an average of 150 min/week and 219 min/week, respectively, and MSA by 2 days/week. Meeting both MSA+MVPA recommendations since COVID-19 (vs meeting neither) was positively associated with meeting MVPA+MSA before COVID-19 (adjusted OR (aOR)=16.11, 95% CI 11.24 to 23.07) and education: post-16 years of age (aOR=1.57, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.17), and negatively associated with having obesity (aOR=0.49, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.73), older age (65+ years vs

    Anna L Roberts, Henry W W Potts, Claire Stevens, Phillippa Lally, Lee Smith, Abigail Fisher (2019)Cancer specialist nurses' perspectives of physical activity promotion and the potential role of physical activity apps in cancer care, In: Journal of cancer survivorship13(5)pp. 815-828

    The purpose of this study was to understand breast, prostate and colorectal cancer clinical nurse specialists' (CNSs) perspectives on physical activity (PA) promotion and the role of smartphone apps to support PA promotion in cancer care. CNSs working in breast, prostate or colorectal cancer were recruited via advertisements distributed by professional organizations. In-depth semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. Nineteen CNSs participated. The analysis resulted in 4 themes regarding CNSs' perspectives of PA promotion within cancer care: (i) policy changes in survivorship care have influenced CNSs' promotion of PA; (ii) CNSs recognize their role in supporting PA but sit within a wider system necessary for effective PA promotion; (iii) CNSs use several techniques to promote PA within their consultations; (iv) remaining challenges in PA promotion. The analysis resulted in 3 themes regarding CNSs' perspectives on the use of apps to promote PA within cancer care: (i) the influence of apps on access to PA support; (ii) the role of apps in self-directed PA; (iii) implementing apps in cancer care. The results of this study provide valuable insight into the CNS role and provide a number of important considerations for the development and implementation of PA interventions within cancer care, with a specific focus on smartphone-based interventions. CNSs play an important role in PA promotion in cancer care and this research can inform the development of PA interventions delivered via smartphone app for people affected by cancer.

    Sarah Breathnach, Clare H. Llewellyn, Dimitrios A. Koutoukidis, Christopher R. van Rugge, Alex Sutherland, Phillippa Lally (2020)Experience of Using an Online Pre-Ordering System for A Workplace Canteen That Offers Lower-Energy Swaps: A Think-Aloud Study, In: Nutrients12(12)pp. 1-26 Mdpi

    Online systems that allow employees to pre-order their lunch may help reduce energy intake. We investigated the acceptability of a pre-ordering website for a workplace canteen that prompts customers to swap to lower-energy swaps and the factors influencing swap acceptance. Employees (n = 30) placed a hypothetical lunch order through a pre-ordering website designed for their canteen while thinking aloud. Semi-structured interview questions supported data collection. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Acceptability was generally high, but potentially context dependent. Practical considerations, such as reminders to pre-order, user-friendliness, provision of images of menu items and energy information while browsing, an ability to reserve pre-ordered meals, and a swift collection service facilitated acceptability. The restrictive timeframe within which orders could be placed, a lack of opportunity to see foods before ordering, and prompts to swap being perceived as threatening autonomy were barriers to acceptability. Swap acceptance was facilitated by the provision of physical activity calorie equivalents (PACE) information, and swap similarity in terms of taste, texture, and expected satiety as well as the perception that alternatives provided meaningful energy savings. Online canteen pre-ordering systems that prompt lower-energy swaps may be an acceptable approach to help reduce energy intake in the workplace.

    Caroline Buck, Simon Pini, Phillippa Lally, Rebecca J. Beeken, Abigail Fisher (2022)The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health behaviours of people living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer-a qualitative study, In: Journal of cancer survivorshippp. 1-11 Springer Nature

    Purpose Positive health behaviours (sufficient exercise, healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and not smoking) can improve multiple outcomes after a cancer diagnosis. Observational studies suggest that health behaviours were negatively impacted for some but not all individuals living with and beyond cancer. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the impact of the pandemic on health behaviours of people in this population. Methods Thirty participants were purposively sampled for characteristics including diagnostic group (breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers), gender, time since diagnosis, and age. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to discuss the impact of the pandemic on health behaviours. Thematic analysis and a secondary Ideal Types analysis were conducted. Results Five themes covered changes in food, weight management, relationship to alcohol, and exercise. Five "types" were identified, representing orientations to health behaviours. The "gift of time" provided by the pandemic had an impact on health behaviours, with trends towards increases in drinking, eating unhealthy food, and exercising less. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic impacted engagement in positive health behaviours among participants in this study. Strict restrictions and changes in routines resulted in individuals adjusting how they managed their diet, alcohol intake, and exercise behaviours. The typology identified within this study helps to define how different orientation to health behaviours could underpin the responses of individual people LWBC. Implications for cancer survivors Alongside providing an understanding of the experiences of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed typology suggests how, with further development, future health behaviour interventions in this group could be targeted based on individual orientations to health, rather than demographic or clinical variables.

    Emma Williams, Aikaterina Vardavoulia, Phillippa Lally, Benjamin Gardner (2023)Experiences of initiating and maintaining a vegan diet among young adults: A qualitative study, In: Appetite180106357 Elsevier

    A vegan diet, which excludes all animal-derived products, has been associated with some improvements in health, while also conferring environmental benefits. Understanding the psychological determinants of successfully switching to a vegan diet will help to inform the design of interventions supporting long-term dietary change. Studies to date have tended to focus on reasoned motives underlying the decision to initiate such a dietary shift. Yet, focusing on reasons for switching may overlook the importance of a broader range of psychological factors that may help or hinder attempts to maintain a vegan diet. This qualitative interview study, the timing of which coincided with UK Covid-19 lockdowns, documented experiences of 20 young adults (17 female; mean age 22y) who attempted to adopt a vegan diet in the past nine months and had or had not successfully maintained this change. Reflexive Thematic Analysis identified five themes surrounding initiation and maintenance. A theme of ‘motives, expectations and cues to switching’ showed that switching was motivated by ethical or health concerns, and cued by Veganuary, lockdown or health issues. ‘The effortfulness of switching’ captured experiences of the perceived burden imposed by adhering to the diet due to, for example, a perceived lack of accessible vegan options. The ‘flexibility of dietary rules’ theme showed that many found the ‘no animal products’ rule clear but restrictive, so allowed themselves occasional non-meat animal products. ‘Social acceptability concerns’ captured the importance of acceptance from vegan and non-vegan family and friends, and ‘satisfaction with the switch’ described the perceived benefits that sustained maintenance for many. Our findings suggest that interventions should seek to support people to overcome potentially unforeseen practical and social challenges to adhering to a vegan diet.

    Habit formation is thought to aid maintenance of physical activity, but little research is available into determinants of habit strength aside from repeated performance. Previous work has shown that intrinsically motivated physical activity, underpinned by inherent satisfaction derived from activity, is more likely to be sustained. We explored whether this might reflect a tendency for self-determined activity to become more strongly habitual. A sample of 192 adults aged 18-30 completed measures of motivational regulation, intention, behaviour, and habit strength. Results showed that self-determined regulation interacted with past behaviour in predicting habit strength: prior action was more predictive of habit strength among more autonomously motivated participants. There was an unexpected direct effect of self-determined regulation on habit strength, independently of past behaviour. Findings offer possible directions for future habit formation work.

    Phillippa Lally, BENJAMIN GARDNER (2013)Promoting habit formation, In: Health psychology review7(1)pp. S137-S158 ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD

    Habits are automatic behavioural responses to environmental cues, thought to develop through repetition of behaviour in consistent contexts. When habit is strong, deliberate intentions have been shown to have a reduced influence on behaviour. The habit concept may provide a mechanism for establishing new behaviours, and so healthy habit formation is a desired outcome for many interventions. Habits also however represent a potential challenge for changing ingrained unhealthy behaviours, which may be resistant to motivational shifts. This review aims to provide intervention developers with tools to help establish target behaviours as habits, based on theoretical and empirical insights. We discuss evidence-based techniques for forming new healthy habits and breaking existing unhealthy habits. To promote habit formation we focus on strategies to initiate a new behaviour, support context-dependent repetition of this behaviour, and facilitate the development of automaticity. We discuss techniques for disrupting existing unwanted habits, which relate to restructuring the personal environment and enabling alternative responses to situational cues.

    Genevieve Cushan-Kain, BENJAMIN GARDNER, Bas Verplanken, Phillippa Lally, Ryan E Rhodes, Dominika Kwasnicka, Kristie-Lee Alfrey, Amanda L Rebar (2022)Identifying as Someone who Avoids Virus Transmission Strengthens Physical Distancing Habit-Behaviour Relationships: A Longitudinal Multi-National Study During the COVID-19 Pandemic, In: Applied psychology. Health and well-being Wiley

    Physical distancing remains an important initiative to curb COVID-19, and virus transmission more broadly. This exploratory study investigated how physical distancing behaviour changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether it was associated with identity with virus transmission avoidance and physical distancing habit strength. In a longitudinal, multinational study with fortnightly repeated-assessments, associations and moderation effects were considered for both overall (person-level means) and occasion-specific deviations in habit and identity. Participants (N=586, M age = 42, 79% female) self-reported physical distancing behavioural frequency, physical distancing habit strength, and identity with avoiding virus transmission. Physical distancing followed a cubic trajectory, with initial high engagement decreasing rapidly before increasing again near study end. Physical distancing was associated with both overall and occasion-specific virus transmission avoidant identity and physical distancing habit strength. People with strong virus transmission avoidant identity engaged in physical distancing frequently regardless of fluctuations in habit strength. However, for those with weaker virus transmission avoidant identity, physical distancing was strongly aligned with fluctuations in habit strength. To enhance engagement in physical distancing, public health messaging might fruitfully target greater or more salient virus-transmission avoidance identity, and stronger physical distancing habit.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Phillippa Lally (2022)Habit and habitual behaviour, In: Health psychology review Routledge
    Benjamin Gardner, G-J de Bruijn, Phillippa Lally (2011)A systematic review and meta-analysis of applications of the Self-Report Habit Index to nutrition and physical activity behaviours, In: Annals of Behavioral Medicine42(2)pp. 174-187 Oxford University Press

    Background Health behaviour models typically neglect habitual action. The Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) permits synthesis of evidence of the influence of habit on behaviour. Purpose The purpose of this study is to review evidence around mean habit strength, habit–behaviour correlations, and habit × intention interactions, from applications of the SRHI to dietary, physical activity, and active travel behaviour. Method Electronic database searches identified 126 potentially relevant papers. Twenty-two papers (21 datasets) passed eligibility screening. Mean scores and correlations were meta-analysed using fixed, random and mixed effects, and interactions were synthesised via narrative review. Results Twenty-three habit–behaviour correlations and nine habit × intention interaction tests were found. Typical habit strength was located around the SRHI midpoint. Weighted habit–behaviour effects were medium-to-strong (fixed: r+ = 0.44; random: r+ = 0.46). Eight tests found that habit moderated the intention–behaviour relation. Conclusion More comprehensive understanding of nutrition and activity behaviours will be achieved by accounting for habitual responses to contextual cues.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, G-J de Bruijn, Phillippa Lally (2012)Habit, identity, and repetitive action: A prospective study of binge-drinking in UK students, In: British journal of health psychology17(3)pp. 565-581 WILEY

    Objectives. Repeated action can lead to the formation of habits and identification as the kind of person that performs the behaviour. This has led to the suggestion that identity-relevance is a facet of habit. This study explores conceptual overlap between habit and identity, and examines where the two constructs fit into an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) model of binge-drinking among university students. Design. Prospective, questionnaire-based correlational design. Methods. A total of 167 UK university students completed baseline measures of past behaviour, self-identity, the Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI), and TPB constructs. One week later, 128 participants completed a follow-up behaviour measure. Results. Factor analyses of the SRHI and four identity items revealed two correlated but distinct factors, relating to habit and identity, respectively. Hierarchical regression analyses of intention and behaviour showed that identity contributed over and above TPB constructs to the prediction of intention, whereas habit predicted behaviour directly, and interacted with intentions in predicting behaviour. Habits unexpectedly strengthened the intentionbehaviour relation, such that strong intenders were more likely to binge-drink where they also had strong habits. Conclusions. Identity and habit are conceptually discrete and impact differently on binge-drinking. Findings have implications for habit theory and measurement. Recommendations for student alcohol consumption reduction initiatives are offered.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Phillippa Lally, Amanda L. Rebar (2020)Does habit weaken the relationship between intention and behaviour? Revisiting the habit-intention interaction hypothesis, In: Social and personality psychology compass14(8) WILEY

    Habitual behaviours are elicited when a familiar context activates cue-behaviour associations that have been learned through previous performance. A core hypothesis within habit theory is that, by virtue of its automaticity, habit weakens the impact of intention on action, such that in facilitating conditions, action will be guided more by habit than momentary intentions. This has led to recommendations that habit formation be harnessed as a mechanism for sustaining desirable behaviour over time, when people would otherwise relapse due to loss of motivation. This article reviews theory and evidence around the hypothesized interaction between habit and intention as determinants of behaviour. We first qualify the hypothesis by clarifying that it pertains only to determinants of the instigation of action, rather than execution. Next, drawing on a systematic review of 52 behaviour-prediction studies, we highlight mixed empirical support for the interaction. We argue that ostensibly inconsistent findings can be reconciled by recognizing the distinction between the direction and strength of intention, and identifying the "facilitating conditions" that may determine the relative influence of habit and intention on behaviour. Evidence demonstrates that when self-control is diminished, people act habitually regardless of intention direction or strength. When people possess self-control, habits can help people to act on favourable but weakened intentions, but intentions that oppose habitual tendencies can override habitual influence. This has important implications for behaviour change: even if habit has formed, a minimal level of favourable conscious motivation may be required to sustain behaviours over time. Social psychology might fruitfully move beyond askingwhetherhabit moderates the intention-behaviour relationship, and instead probehowandin which conditionshabits and intentions interact.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, C Abraham, Phillippa Lally, G-J de Bruijn (2012)'The Habitual Use of the Self-report Habit Index': A Reply, In: Annals of behavioral medicine43(1)pp. 141-142 SPRINGER
    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Phillippa Lally, J Wardle (2012)Making health habitual: the psychology of 'habit formation' and general practice, In: British journal of general practice62(605)pp. 664-666 ROYAL COLL GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
    Phillippa Lally, J Wardle, Benjamin Gardner (2011)Experiences of habit formation: A qualitative study, In: Psychology, Health and Medicine16(4)pp. 484-489 Routledge

    Habit formation is an important goal for behaviour change interventions because habitual behaviours are elicited automatically and are therefore likely to be maintained. This study documented experiences of habit development in 10 participants enrolled on a weight loss intervention explicitly based on habit-formation principles. Thematic analysis revealed three themes: Strategies used to support initial engagement in a novel behaviour; development of behavioural automaticity; and selecting effective cues to support repeated behaviour. Results showed that behaviour change was initially experienced as cognitively effortful but as automaticity increased, enactment became easier. Habits were typically formed in work-based contexts. Weekends and vacations temporarily disrupted performance due to absence of associated cues, but habits were reinstated on return to work. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

    Lee Smith, Alexia Sawyer, Benjamin Gardner, Katri Seppala, Marcella Ucci, Alexi Marmot, Pippa Lally, Abi Fisher (2018)Occupational Physical Activity Habits of UK Office Workers: Cross-Sectional Data from the Active Buildings Study, In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health15(6)1214 MDPI

    Habitual behaviours are learned responses that are triggered automatically by associated environmental cues. The unvarying nature of most workplace settings makes workplace physical activity a prime candidate for a habitual behaviour, yet the role of habit strength in occupational physical activity has not been investigated. Aims of the present study were to: (i) document occupational physical activity habit strength; and (ii) investigate associations between occupational activity habit strength and occupational physical activity levels. A sample of UK office-based workers (n = 116; 53% female, median age 40 years, SD 10.52) was fitted with activPAL accelerometers worn for 24 h on five consecutive days, providing an objective measure of occupational step counts, stepping time, sitting time, standing time and sit-to-stand transitions. A self-report index measured the automaticity of two occupational physical activities (being active (e.g., walking to printers and coffee machines) and stair climbing). Adjusted linear regression models investigated the association between occupational activity habit strength and objectively-measured occupational step counts, stepping time, sitting time, standing time and sit-to-stand transitions. Eighty-one per cent of the sample reported habits for being active, and 62% reported habits for stair climbing. In adjusted models, reported habit strength for being active were positively associated with average occupational sit-to-stand transitions per hour (B = 0.340, 95% CI: 0.053 to 0.627, p = 0.021). Stair climbing habit strength was unexpectedly negatively associated with average hourly stepping time (B = -0.01, 95% CI: -0.01 to -0.00, p = 0.006) and average hourly occupational step count (B = -38.34, 95% CI: -72.81 to -3.88, p = 0.030), which may reflect that people with stronger stair-climbing habits compensate by walking fewer steps overall. Results suggest that stair-climbing and office-based occupational activity can be habitual. Interventions might fruitfully promote habitual workplace activity, although, in light of potential compensation effects, such interventions should perhaps focus on promoting moderate-intensity activity.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, C Abraham, Phillippa Lally, G-J de Bruijn (2012)Towards parsimony in habit measurement: Testing the convergent and predictive validity of an automaticity subscale of the Self-Report Habit Index, In: The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity9(1)pp. 102-102 BMC

    Background: The twelve-item Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) is the most popular measure of energy-balance related habits. This measure characterises habit by automatic activation, behavioural frequency, and relevance to self-identity. Previous empirical research suggests that the SRHI may be abbreviated with no losses in reliability or predictive utility. Drawing on recent theorising suggesting that automaticity is the 'active ingredient' of habit-behaviour relationships, we tested whether an automaticity-specific SRHI subscale could capture habit-based behaviour patterns in self-report data. Methods: A content validity task was undertaken to identify a subset of automaticity indicators within the SRHI. The reliability, convergent validity and predictive validity of the automaticity item subset was subsequently tested in secondary analyses of all previous SRHI applications, identified via systematic review, and in primary analyses of four raw datasets relating to energy-balance relevant behaviours (inactive travel, active travel, snacking, and alcohol consumption). Results: A four-item automaticity subscale (the 'Self-Report Behavioural Automaticity Index'; 'SRBAI') was found to be reliable and sensitive to two hypothesised effects of habit on behaviour: a habit-behaviour correlation, and a moderating effect of habit on the intention-behaviour relationship. Conclusion: The SRBAI offers a parsimonious measure that adequately captures habitual behaviour patterns. The SRBAI may be of particular utility in predicting future behaviour and in studies tracking habit formation or disruption.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Amanda L. Rebar, Phillippa Lally (2019)A matter of habit: Recognizing the multiple roles of habit in health behaviour, In: British journal of health psychology24(2)pp. 241-249 WILEY
    Svenne Diefenbacher, Phillippa Lally, Benjamin Gardner (2022)Habit formation in context: Context-specific and context-free measures for tracking fruit consumption habit formation and behaviour, In: British journal of health psychology

    OBJECTIVES Interventions promoting habitual fruit consumption have the potential to bring about long-term behaviour change. Assessing the effectiveness of such interventions requires adequate habit and behaviour measures. Habits are based on learned context-behaviour associations, so measures that incorporate context should be more sensitive to expected habit and behaviour changes than context-free measures. This study compared context-specific and context-free measures of fruit consumption habit and behaviour following a 3-week habit formation intervention. DESIGN Prospective online study (n = 58). METHODS Behaviour frequency was assessed across five timepoints, retrospectively (Time 1 [T1], T5) or via daily diary data (uploaded weekly at T2, T3 and T4). Habit strength was assessed before (T1) and immediately after the intervention (T4), and again 2 weeks later (T5). Analyses of variance were run, with time and context specificity as within-subject factors, and habit and behaviour frequency as dependent measures. RESULTS An interaction between time and context specificity was found in both analyses (habit: F(2,114) = 12.848, p < .001, part.η2 = .184; behaviour: F(2,114) = 6.714, p = .002, part.η2 = .105). Expected habit formation patterns 5 weeks post-baseline were only detected by the context-specific habit measure. Likewise, increased behaviour frequency was only found when the target context was specified (p's < .001). CONCLUSIONS Assessments of purposeful dietary habit and behaviour change attempts should incorporate context-specific measurement.

    BENJAMIN GARDNER, Amanda L. Rebar, Phillippa Lally (2020)‘Habitually deciding’ or ‘habitually doing’? A response to Hagger (2019), In: Psychology of sport and exercise47 Elsevier Ltd

    Hagger (2019) offers an insightful synthesis of recent theoretical and empirical developments in understanding of habit and its relevance to physical activity. This commentary extends coverage of one such advance, namely the distinction between two manifestations of habit in physical activity: habitually ‘deciding’ to engage in activity (i.e. habitual instigation), and habitually ‘doing’ the activity (habitual execution). We explore the rationale for this distinction and argue that most contemporary theory and evidence around habitual physical activity – and by extension, Hagger’s review – implicitly focuses on instigation and neglects execution. We offer hypotheses around the potential roles that habitual execution may play in physical activity. Broadening the scope of inquiry within the field to more fully encompass habitual performance would achieve a more comprehensive and informative account that incorporates concepts of skill acquisition and mastery.

    Sebastian Potthoff, Dominika Kwasnicka, Leah Avery, Tracy Finch, BENJAMIN GARDNER, Nelli Hankonen, DG Johnston, MD 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 (2022)Changing healthcare professionals' non-reflective processes to improve the quality of care, In: Social science & medicine (1982)298114840 Elsevier Ltd

    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. To combine theories of habit and routine to generate a broader understanding of healthcare professional behaviour and how it might be changed. Sixteen experts met for a two-day multidisciplinary workshop on how to advance implementation science by developing greater understanding of non-reflective processes. 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. 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. •Improving the quality of care involves changing healthcare professional behaviour.•Professional behaviour is driven by both reflective and non-reflective processes.•Changing non-reflective, habitual, or routine clinical behaviours is difficult.•Theory-based strategies can help address non-reflective clinical behaviours.•Future directions for research on non-reflective clinical behaviour are provided.