Friday, 30 March 2012

Behaviour change - the power of love

A couple of weeks ago, my eye was drawn via Twitter to an interesting blog by John Hitchin about the part played by 'love' in the life chances of young people

The blog was talking about how it is often the lack of love that has been a significant factor in what had happened to young people. The blogger was asking, as a researcher, how do we talk about 'love' in research?

I was reminded of that blog during two meetings with community members last week. 
In this project we are working with two groups of people with diabetes - one male, one female.

I was asking people about the times when they had changed their behaviour in response to a health message. 

As they told their stories, I was struck by how great a part their families play in supporting that change. For example, daughters and daughters-in-law were cooking special food for the men to support their need to change their diet. In one family, the whole family had changed its eating habits to support their grandfather's bid to improve his blood sugar results. Of course the reason for that familial support was love.  Families were taking whatever action was needed to keep their much-loved relative alive and well.

It is all so obvious, that I am almost embarrassed to draw attention to it. Yet we never discuss this explicitly. Perhaps there is some thinking for us to do here, so that we can more consciously draw on that powerful tool for change.

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