Human behaviour can be incredibly complex. If we want to change behaviour, we need to first understand what drives it in the first place. COM-B provides us with a behavioural change model to do just that. It's a powerful tool to transform behaviour, and it's at the core of our work here at LiveWell Dorset.
In COM-B, behaviour (B) is understood as an interaction between three necessary conditions: capability (C), opportunity (O) and motivation (M).
For a person to engage in a particular behaviour, they must be capable, have the opportunity and be motivated to do it, more so than any competing behaviour at the time.
By understanding the drivers of behaviour – and barriers to healthy living - we can tailor our behavioural support to deliver the most evidence-based interventions.
At LiveWell Dorset, we recognise that people face all sorts of barriers to adopting healthy lifestyle changes. The COM-B model gives us the insight that all barriers fall into the categories of capability, opportunity or motivation. This allows us to draw on evidence linking barriers with suitable interventions, so we can work with our clients to employ behaviour change techniques that are most likely to help them overcome their specific barriers.
The success of our one-on-one services shows us that lifestyle change is possible - and powerful.
Written by Phoebe Nicholson (MPH), a health and wellness content writer.