‘Getting things done’: an everyday-life perspective towards bridging the gap between intentions and practices in health-related behavior

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Abstract

In this paper, we aim to add a new perspective to supporting health-related behavior. We use the everyday-life view to point at the need to focus on the social and practical organization of the concerned behavior. Where most current approaches act disjointedly on clients and the social and physical context, we take the clients' own behavior within the dynamics of everyday context as the point of departure. From this point, healthy behavior is not a distinguishable action, but a chain of activities, often embedded in other social practices. Therefore, changing behavior means changing the social system in which one lives, changing a shared lifestyle or changing the dominant values or existing norms. Often, clients experience that this is not that easy. From the everyday-life perspective, the basic strategy is to support the client, who already has a positive intention, to ‘get things done’. This strategy might be applied to those cases, where a gap is found between good intentions and bad behavior.

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