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Conceptualising the policy practice and behavioural research relationship

Lawrence, Mark A. and Yeatman, Heather 2008, Conceptualising the policy practice and behavioural research relationship, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 5, no. 16, pp. 1-8.

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Title Conceptualising the policy practice and behavioural research relationship
Author(s) Lawrence, Mark A.
Yeatman, Heather
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 5
Issue number 16
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2008-03-20
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary Background
Policy is frequently identified in the behavioural nutrition and physical activity research literature as a necessary component of effective research and practice. The purpose of this commentary is to promote a dialogue to contribute towards the further development of conceptual understandings and theories of the relationship between policy practice and behavioural research and how these two activities might work synergistically to improve public health outcomes.

Methods
Drawing on policy and public health literature, this commentary presents a a conceptual model of the interaction and mediation between nutrition and physical activity-relevant policy and behavioural nutrition and physical activity research, environments, behaviours and public health implications. The selling of food in school canteens in several Australian states is discussed to illustrate components of the relationship and the interactions among its components.

Results
The model depicts a relationship that is interdependent and cyclic. Policy contributes to the relationship through its role in shaping environmental and personal-cognitive determinants of behaviours and through these determinants it can induce behaviour change. Behavioural research describes behaviours, identifies determinants of behaviour change and therefore helps inform policy development and monitor and evaluate its impact.

Conclusion
The model has implications for guiding behavioural research and policy practice priorities to promote public health outcomes. In particular, we propose that policy practice and behavioural research activities can be strengthened by applying to each other the theories from the scientific disciplines informing these respective activities. Behavioural science theories can be applied to help understand policy-making and assist with disseminating research into policy and practice. In turn, policy science theories can be applied to support the 'institutionalisation' of commitments to ongoing behavioural research.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention
Socio Economic Objective 920208 Health Inequalities
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Lawrence and Yeatman; licensee BioMed Central Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017733

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.