Modelling patient behaviour to improve self-management in diabetes

Debates & Insight

An understanding of health psychology is essential to helping patients adhere to their medication and lifestyle regimens. This report hones in on how the COM-B model of behaviour provides a key tool for developing personalised and scalable patient-support programmes to help diabetics manage their condition more effectively. Specifically, the model looks at how working intelligently with the three key dimensions of the adherence challenge – Capability, Opportunity and Motivation – can lead to the specific behavioural changes sought.

It is vitally important that diabetes patients are adherent to their self-management regimens. This includes not just adherence with medications, but also with blood glucose monitoring and diet and exercise regimens. To improve an individual patient’s adherence, it is necessary to understand the factors that underlie their poor adherence behaviour, so that appropriate interventions can be selected.
The COM-B model of behaviour provides a key tool for understanding these factors:

• CAPABILITY: The patient’s physical and mental capability to adhere
• OPPORTUNITY: Factors external to the patient
• MOTIVATION: All of the brain processes that might motivate or affect behaviour.

In this white paper:
• Kerri Sparling and Simon O’Neill, two leading diabetes patient advocates from the UK and US, address key adherence issues in diabetes.
• Sinéad NíMhurchadha and Jeremy Sayers describe how the COM-B model relates directly to these needs, and can be used to deliver patient-support solutions that drive improved adherence.
COM-B is the foundation for Atlantis Healthcare’s proprietary model for the development of personalised and scalable patient-support programmes worldwide.
This white paper explores how this psychological framework can provide an important tool for understanding the adherence challenges in diabetes. Improved adherence will have long-term beneficial effects with regard to the health of patients and in reducing the associated costs for healthcare systems.

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Linda Banks

1 December, 2014