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Behaviour Change general approaches


Healthy people differ significantly in their overall personality, mood and behavior. Each person also varies from day to day, depending on the circumstances. Major change in personality and behavior particularly one that is not realted to an obvious event often indicates a problem.
Changes in personality and behavior can be roughly categorized as one of the following:
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Delusions
  • Disorganized speech or behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood extremes

Behavior change can refer to any transformation or modification of human behavior. It is a broad range of activities and approaches which focus on the individual, community and environmental influences on behavior. It is a rapid and involuntary change of behavior sometimes associated with a mental disorder or a side effect of medication.
Five stages actually describe the process by which all behaviors change;
  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Determination
  • Action
  • Maintenance

A behavior change method is any process that has the potential to influence psychological determinants. Psychological determinants are theoretical variables in peoples head comparable to risk factors in epidemiology but only including psychological variables.
Advantage of behaviour change approach:
  • ·         Encourages individuals to adopt healthy behaviours which improve health.
  • ·         Views health as property belonging to individuals.
  • ·         People can make real improvements to their health by choosing to change their lifestyle.
  • ·         It is people responsibility to take action and look after themselves.
  • ·         Involves a change in attitude followed by a change in behaviour.

·        Provides information for people to make well-informed choices independently.
Disadvantage of behaviour change:
  • Depends on a persons readiness to take action.
  • Complex relationship between individual behaviour and social and environmental factors.
  • Behaviour may be a response to a persons living conditions which may be beyond individual control. 
Its important to see beyond the behaviour itself and think about what may be causing it. Sometimes behaviour can be result of frustration in the way others around the person are behaving a sense of being out of control or a feeling of not being listening to or understood.


The behaviour may have many causes including difficulties relating to dementia but also mental and physical health, habits, personality, interactions with others and the environment. The possible causes of someone behaving out of character may be divided into biological, psychological or social. 

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