Sharing positive behavior change made during COVID-19 lockdown: a mixed-methods co-production study

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Objective: The negative consequences of COVID-19 national lockdowns have been well documented, including the worsening of mental health for many, and the amplification of pre-existing inequalities. As a counterpoint, the current study utilises a mixed-methods co-production approach to share psychosocial insights into the adoption of positive changes made during national lockdown in Scotland. The study examined: i) the psychosocial patterning of positive behavior changes, ii) the psychosocial processes by which positive change was realised, and worked with partner organizations to share these insights. Methods: A sequential mixed-methods design included an online survey (n=2445) assessing positive changes in sleep and physical activity patterns, and the role of socio-demographics, mood, social support, coping, and resilience, with multivariate logistic regression analysis. Interviews were employed with a purposive diverse sub-sample of people self-reporting high levels of positive change (n=48) and used thematic analysis. Results: The survey identified positive behavior change was significantly patterned by age, gender and vulnerability to COVID-19. Higher levels of positive reframing and active coping in relation to stress were associated with higher levels of positive behavior change. Higher symptoms of depression, planning, and self-distraction were associated with less positive behavior change. Thematic analysis showed the centrality of perceptions of time, opportunities to self-reflect and engage with the natural world, access support in diverse ways, actively build routine and purposefully build self-efficacy and a sense of control were key to initiating positive change. Conclusions: The current study yields insights into achieving positive behavior change at a time of international crisis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • salutogenic
  • behaviour change
  • mixed-methods
  • co-production


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