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Culturally Competent Health Behaviour Change Interventions: Can we adapt the MAP approach to meet the needs of BAME communities?

   Faculty of Natural Sciences

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded PhD project to investigate feasibility and outcomes related to the development and application of a culturally adapted health behaviour change approach to improve health outcomes for people with long-term health conditions.

Cultural adaption refers to ‘the systematic modification of an evidence based treatment or intervention protocol to consider language, culture, and context in such a
way that it is compatible with the client’s cultural patterns, meanings, and values” (Bernal, et al. 2009) Using cultural adaptation frameworks such as that developed by Barrera and Castro (2006) and the Ecological Validity Model (Bernal et al., 1995) can assist in providing guidance for adaptation of existing interventions. People with long-term conditions (for example, diabetes, coronary heart disease, respiratory conditions, chronic pain) have been shown to benefit from health behaviour interventions to improve their well-being and ability to self-manage their condition. However, current approaches to health behaviour change are based on models developed in the global north, focusing on individual models of self-management and personal growth, and may not be acceptable or effective for people with different needs, beliefs and values of different cultural contexts.

We have translated these theories into a set of techniques used to support behaviour change in health care contexts, applying the HBCCF Framework, to develop MAP (Motivation, Action, Prompts) training for health professionals working with people with a range of health conditions to improve self-management (Maltinsky & Swanson 2020), however we are aware of the need to adapt the approach, content and delivery to meet the needs and values of people in different cultural contexts.

This PhD would work in a co-production approach with people in a range of cultural contexts, in Scotland or overseas, to develop culturally acceptable versions of the MAP approach. Following a systematic review of evidence for efficacy of behaviour change techniques to support people with long-term conditions, the proposal is to work collaboratively with stakeholders, including patients and carers, volunteers, peer supporters in health organisations serving new and settled immigrants, to identify core principles for the training, and develop a testable, culturally adapted version of MAP.

Application Requirements:
Eligible applicants should –
• Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, or a relevant health-related area., A relevant MSc qualification is desirable.
• Have relevant background or experience in working to promote health for people with long-term conditions.
• Be interested and/or experienced in working to promote health in ethnically diverse contexts, in the UK or internationally.

Funding Notes

The PhD project is self-funded. Tuition fees are available at:
View Website


Barrera, M., & Castro, F. G. (2006). A heuristic framework for the cultural adaptation of
interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 13, 311–316.

Bernal, G., Jimenez-Chafey, M.I., & Domenech-Rodriguez, M.M. (2009). Cultural adaptation of treatments: A resource for considering culture in evidence-based practice.
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40, 361–368

Bernal, G., Bonilla, J., & Bellido, C. (1995). Ecological validity and cultural sensitivity for
outcome research: Issues for cultural adaptation and development of psychosocial
treatments with Hispanics. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 23, 67–82.

Dixon, D., Johnston, M. (2010) Health Behaviour Change Competency Framework. Scottish Government.
Maltinsky W, Swanson V. Behavior change in diabetes practitioners: An intervention using motivation, action planning and prompts. Patient Education and Counseling. 2020 Apr. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.04.013.
Swanson, V., & Maltinsky, W. (2019). Motivational and behaviour change approaches for improving diabetes management. Practical Diabetes, 36(4), 121-125.

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