Interest has grown in testing the effectiveness of theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 2002a) based interventions, especially since this can test the theory (Fishbein, 1997). However, there is a dearth of studies testing the effectiveness of TPB-based interventions…
This makes the TPB particularly useful for designing interventions where the aim is to increase individuals intentions to engage in a behaviour that they are not intrinsically motivated to engage with (Hardeman et al., 2002).
One area in which the TPB has received less attention, yet which has an impact upon health outcomes, is the behaviour of health care professionals. There may be differences between the cognitive processes associated with behaviour protecting ones own health compared to protecting the health of others (Walker, Grimshaw, & Armstrong, 2001). Health professionals adherence to guidelines has begun to receive attention. This is partly due to the increased standardisation of healthcare provision in England and Wales through evidence-based guidelines developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and National Service Frameworks for specific services and conditions. Guidelines have the potential to improve standards by promoting interventions of proven benefit, and discouraging ineffective ones (Woolf, Grol, Hutchison, Eccles, & Grimshaw, 1999). However, research suggests that health professionals adherence can be variable and low (e.g. Tiemeier et al, 2002; Mannan & Jones, 2005; Sheldon et al, 2004), and affected by a multitude of factors (e.g. Foy et al., 2001).
Given the importance of increasing adherence to strive to achieve the health outcomes predicted by guidelines, some researchers have tested the effectiveness of the TPB in accounting for proportions of variance in health professionals intentions to adhere. Studies have included predicting the adherence intentions of general practitioners to antibiotic prescribing guidelines for patients with a sore throat (Walker et al., 2001), and nurses intentions to offer smoking cessation advice (Puffer & Rashidian, 2004). These and other studies have found the TPB to account for significant proportions of variance in intention ...
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