Brief interventions and making every contact count

Testing health behaviour interventions delivered within routine NHS healthcare consultations and public health settings.

Millions of deaths annually can be attributed to insufficient physical activity and obesity. There are day-to-day interactions with the public where we can intervene to change health behaviours. Our research is pioneering novel health behaviour interventions for physical activity and weight management in primary care, community health and public health settings.

One project we are working on is developing a novel physical activity approach called SnacktivityTM which involves NHS health professionals routinely encouraging patients within consultations, to accumulate small ‘snacks’ of physical activity throughout the whole day.

Theme leads

Claire Madigan

Dr Claire Madigan

Senior Research Associate, Weight management interventions

Amanda Daley

Professor Amanda Daley

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Centre Director

Research spotlights


  • Biddle GJH, Sanders JP, Gokal K, Madigan CD, Thomas JJC, Pyle A et al. A Christmas themed physical activity intervention to increase participation in physical activity during Advent: pilot randomised controlled trial BMJ 2022; 379 :e072807 doi:10.1136/bmj-2022-072807

  • Kettle V, Madigan CDCoombe A, Graham HThomas JJCChalkley AE, Daley AJEffectiveness of physical activity interventions delivered or prompted by health professionals in primary care settings: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The BMJ. 2022. DOI: 10.1136/bmj-2021-068465

  • Daley A, Time to get our teeth into reducing obesity: should dentists screen and deliver interventions to reduce obesity in the population? British Dental Journal. 2022. DOI: 10.1038/s41415-022-3872-z 


  • Noreik M, Madigan CD, Astbury NM, Edwards R, Galal U, Mollison J, Ghebretinsea F, Jebb SA. Testing the short-term effectiveness of primary care referral to online weight loss programmes: a randomsied controlled trial. Clinical Obesity. 2021. DOI: 10.1111/cob.12482

  • Tyldesley-Marshall N, Greenfield SM, Parretti HM, Jolly K, Jebb S, Daley AJ. The experiences of postnatal women and healthcare professionals of a brief weight management intervention embedded within the national child immunisation programme. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021; 21(1):462. DOI: 10.1186/s12884-021-03905-3

  • Graham HEMadigan CDDaley AJ. Is a small change approach for weight management effective? A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews. 2021; e13357 DOI


  • Daley AJ, Jolly K, Bensoussane H, Ives N, Jebb SA, Tearne S, Greenfield SM, Yardley L, Little P, Tyldesley-Marshall N, Pritchett RV, Frew E, Parretti HM. Feasibility and acceptability of a brief routine weight management intervention for postnatal women embedded within the national child immunisation programme in primary care: randomised controlled cluster feasibility trial. Trials 2020, 21:757. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-020-04673-9

  • Tudor K, Tearne S, Jebb SA, Lewis A, Adab P, Begh R, Jolly K, Daley AJ et al. Gender differences in response to an opportunistic brief intervention for obesity in primary care: Data from the BWeL trial Clinical Obesity, 2020, e12418. DOI: 10.1111/cob.12418


  • Daley AJ, Jolly K, Madigan CD, Griffin R, Roalfe A, Lewis A, Nickless A, Aveyard P.. The effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention delivered by lay workers to prevent weight regain after weight loss: the LIMIT randomised controlled trial; 2019; DOI: 10.3310/phr07070

  • Daley A, Jolly K, Jebb SA, Roalfe A, Mackilllop L, Lewis A, Clifford S, Usman M, Ohadike C, Kenyon S, MacArthur C, Aveyard P. Effectiveness of a behavioural intervention involving regular weighing and feedback by community midwives within routine antenatal care to prevent excessive gestational weight. BMJ open 2019: 9 (9), e030174. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030174

  • The effectiveness of the small change approach for weight management. Led by Henrietta Graham.
  • Evaluation of a weight management interventions for postnatal women embedded within child immunisation appointments in primary care (PiMMS). Funded by NIHR. Led by Amanda Daley.
  • The role of dentists in screening for obesity and delivering weight management interventions. Led by Amanda Daley.