COM-B behavior model and improving hearing-aid use
Despite an abundance of evidence that hearing-aid use can improve quality of life for the hearing impaired, 30% of the hearing impaired community chooses not to wear them.1Barker and colleagues (2016) examined whether the application of the COM-B method could be to develop an intervention for this discrepancy. They interviewed 10 audiologists about their feelings on each component of the COM-B model. The audiologists reported that they felt that physical capability was not an issue for them, and both physical and social opportunity were important in determining whether behavioral planning was likely to occur. They also reported that motivation played an important role in determining the likelihood of carrying out behavioral planning. Altogether, capability, opportunity, and motivation were considered to be important drivers in filling hearing-aid fitting appointments. Barker and colleagues therefore argue that the COM-B model can effectively be used in audiology intervention development and provide self-management support.
COM-B behavior model and improving antibiotic usage
Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat to global health, and. is estimated to cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050 if no effective intervention is implemented.3 Duan and colleagues (2020) note that antibiotic resistance is caused by inconsistent use of prescribed antibiotics, often due to poor adherence to physician advice, the sharing of unused antibiotics, and/or the use of antibiotics for self-medication purposes. Unfortunately, understanding of consumer behavior regarding antibiotic usage is limited.Duan and colleagues aimed to examine consumer behavior patterns and develop strategies to improve antibiotic usage in China using the COM-B framework.They identified the COM-B attributes of antibiotic consumers – what capability, opportunity, and motivation looked like – by conducting interviews with 30 participants. Duan and colleagues then developed, tested and validated a measurement to understand antibiotic consumer behaviors. This measurement tool (?) will allow the researchers to categorize and identify hidden behavior patterns of consumers. Duan and colleagues argue that their tool eases the process of developing and applying targeted interventions. For example, a home medicine review program may be useful for consumers who have a tendency to stockpile medicines and self-medicate.3
COM-B behavior model and the COVID-19 pandemic
According to a 2020 review article published by Weston and colleagues, behavioral science plays a critical role in mitigating the effects of infectious disease outbreak, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.11 The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages adaptive behavior change in response to public health emergencies. This sentiment is echoed by Michie and colleagues (2020)2 who state that, “Human behavior will determine how quickly COVID-19 spreads and the mortality. Therefore, behavioral science must be at the heart of the public health response.” Weston and colleagues note that the COM-B model has been proposed as a starting point for interventions that would reduce virus transmission. This idea is further supported by a 2020 paper published in Nature, wherein authors West and colleagues argue that changing behavior is critical to preventing the transmission of COVID-19.10
As we know, behaviors such as social distancing, isolation, wearing a mask, and frequent handwashing are all critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. These measures have been implemented by governments across the globe, however, according to West and colleagues, there is an urgent need to create interventions that improve human adherence.
The authors employed the COM-B model to understand how capability, opportunity, and motivation affect adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. They also employed the related behavior change wheel to identify the categories of intervention that should be included in the behavior change strategy; education, persuasion, incentivization, coercion, enablement, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, and modelling. West and colleagues found that interventions should target behaviors such as isolation and social distancing measures, specifically. They conclude that behavioral science models and methods, such as the COM-B, can be used to developing and evaluate such interventions.10