What is Toothpicks?

Evidence based behaviour change techniques

9 easy ways to help patients change lifestyle

Psychologists and health professionals have carried out extensive research and collated a list of techniques that work to help patients improve their lifestyle 1. We have grouped together a selection of techniques (found to be effective for changing smoking, alcohol and diet behaviours) into 9 domains, which you can use to help talk to patients about their lifestyle changes.

Open up the attached file, which contains the Toothpicks framework. Read through the framework and think about how the techniques can be used in practice. We suggest that as well as reading it now, you download the document and save it for future reference.

Although the number of techniques presented in the framework may seem overwhelming, the idea is that you 'pick' a selection you feel comfortable using in practice. Ideally these will extend the techniques you use already to improve your behaviour change conversations with patient


1 Michie, S., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Francis, J., Hardeman, W.,Eccles, M.P., Cane, J.. & Wood, C. E. (2013). The behavior change technique taxonomy (v1) of 93 hierarchically clustered techniques: building an international consensus for the reporting of behavior change interventions. Annals of behavioral medicine, 46(1), 81-95.

ToothPicks framework.pdf
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