Achieving clinical behaviour change: a case of becoming indeterminate

Soc Sci Med. 1998 Dec;47(11):1729-38. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(98)00250-0.


This paper is based on an empirical study of attempts to achieve change in clinical behaviour across a United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) Health Authority (HA). We suggest that the evidence based medicine (EBM) movement underpinning such attempts is premised upon a highly rationalistic conception of change. Here the generation and implementation of research findings into clinical practice is understood as movement between discrete entities. Drawing upon poststructural philosophy, social studies of science and technology, social anthropology, and gender studies, we challenge such linear perspectives through a more immanent alternative. We conceive of change as movement within indeterminate or ambiguous relationships. We then proceed to discuss the implications of this modality for the management of clinical behaviour change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical