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Title: Understanding how participation in groups promotes health-related psychological and behaviour change
Author: Borek, Aleksandra Jolanta
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 3524
Awarding Body: Exeter and Plymouth Peninsula Medical School
Current Institution: Exeter and Plymouth Peninsula Medical School
Date of Award: 2016
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Groups are commonly used to deliver interventions to promote health and prevent illness through facilitating psychological and behaviour change. The research reported in this thesis aimed to further our understanding of how group-based diet and physical activity interventions work. The thesis consists of six chapters: Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the thesis, Chapter 6 is an overall discussion, including strengths, limitations and implications, whereas Chapters 2 to 5 include four empirical studies. Chapter 2 is a conceptual overview of concepts and models that explain group dynamics and change processes in groups. This chapter highlights the importance of a better understanding of research al")d theories concerned with change processes in groups in order to optimise design, delivery and evaluation of group-based interventions. Chapter 3 is a systematic review and meta-analysis of group-based diet and physical activity interventions. This shows that groups can be effective in facilitating about 3 kg weight loss at 6, 12 and 24 months, and that explicitly targeting weight loss, using menonly groups and providing feedback may enhance effectiveness. However, the research also highlights large, unexplained, between-study variations in effectiveness, and deficiencies in reporting of group-specific elements of intervention design and delivery. Chapter 4 presents a checklist to improve reporting of group-based behaviour-change interventions. It addresses the problem of incomprehensive reporting of group interventions and lack of consideration of group processes and characteristics in such reports. The checklist defines 26 reporting elements that could help designing and replicating effective group-based interventions. Chapter 5 is a qualitative study of participants' experiences of group participation in a diet and physical activity intervention for prevention and control of diabetes. The results show that participants perceived individual as well as group-specific change processes as beneficial, and highlight the role of the group context and optimal facilitation in promoting participants' engagement with the programme and behaviour change. Overall, this programme of research demonstrates that group-based diet and physical activity interventions can be effective in facilitating weight loss and that participation in groups can be helpful in promoting behaviour change. A series of recommendations for design and evaluation of group-based health interventions are provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available