The Cardinal Edge


Physical and mental health contribute to a person’s overall sense of well-being. People generally want to live happy and healthy lives, so they make decisions that will increase their well-being. Many factors contribute to our health, but health behavior is something we can modify. Health behavior interventions aim to promote healthy choices and a sense of well-being in patients. Interventions have a theoretical basis that influences the design of the intervention. Public health interventions have used self-determination theory (SDT) and its components to guide interventions that promote health behavior change in various populations. This paper will seek to understand the extent to which health interventions that incorporate SDT are successful in encouraging the behavior change they aim to promote. To situate SDT in a broader context, it will be compared to other behavior change theories. Applications of SDT in health behavior change and health support interventions will also be explored to better understand how SDT and how its components are used. Lastly, the limitations of the theory and its effectiveness will be discussed, in addition to the implications of the findings.

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