Providing lifestyle medicine prescriptions, although needed, will commonly fall short in effectively changing patient behavior in the long-term. Patients are faced with a challenge of (1) building intention to initiate healthy lifestyle behaviors, and (2) acquiring the self-regulatory abilities to follow-through with their intention. Unfortunately, left alone, most patients will succumb to phenomenon called ‘the intention-behavior gap,’ which explains that intention, even if it is high, is not a reliable predictor of health behavior change, including physical activity and healthy eating. For example, research finds that while 7 out of 10 patients will have intention to be more physically active, only half (50%) will follow through with their intention.

The intention-behavior gap is frustrating for patients, as well as practitioners who provide lifestyle prescriptions in hope that their patients will follow through successfully. There is a general lack of insight into how the practitioner and healthcare team can play a key role in helping bridge the intention-behavior gap with their patients, especially with a limited amount of time with each patient.

Thus, this presentation seeks to simplify the process for the frustrated practitioner who has limited knowledge and time to influence patient behavior across clinical, fitness or other healthcare settings. The attendee will learn how to quickly assess and modify lifestyle prescriptions to benefit the key, research-based factors known to bridge the intention-behavior gap, in as little as 5-minutes with the patient. Factors specific to both the patient (e.g., low confidence, motivation difficulties, planning strategies) and practitioner (e.g., autonomy support, message framing) will be covered.

The attendee will also be provided with real-world examples, simple tools to help immediate implementation into one’s own practice, and practical recommendations for practice models, and tips on how to optimize a team care approach to bridge the intention-behavior gap — to maximize medication adherence, when lifestyle is the medicine.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the ‘intention-behavior gap,’ and its impact on lifestyle medicine practice
  • Develop strategies to bridge the ‘intention-behavior gap’
  • Apply tools to bridge the ‘intention-behavior gap’ to clinical practice.

CME/CNE/CE: 1.0 | CPE: 0.0


The date


Tue, 29 Oct 2019