Pillar 2: Consider the Context—Our Behaviors Are Shaped by the World Around Us

This week, the Applied Behavior Change Science team continues sharing insights from EPC’s Behavioral Science Approach (BSA) and the Five Pillars of Behavior Change Science by diving into Pillar No. 2: Consider the Context. As we focus on one Pillar each week, it remains important to know that every Pillar is inter-connected.

Click here to access our first blog for an overview of the BSA.

Consider the Context

Similar to Pillar No. 1 (Care for the Whole Person), Pillar No. 2 also takes to heart EPC’s goal of “meeting the person where they are.” Rather than focusing on individual factors, ‘Consider the Context’ focuses on external factors that impact health and health behaviors, including the physical, social, cultural and economic contexts in which a person lives.

If you’ve ever tried stick to a low-calorie diet around tempting foods during the holidays, you know how powerfully physical and social environments can shape our behaviors. Thinking much bigger, this pillar shines a spotlight on the social determinants of health: the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age—and the systems in place to manage health and disease—and how they affect health and health choices.

For example, we know that our zip code—where we live—has a tremendous impact on health. The communities we live in impact access to quality education, jobs with liveable wages, and affordable and culturally competent health care. It also affects whether we have easy access to grocery stores, parks, sidewalks, and affordable and safe housing. EPC’s health coaches understand the critical impact of these environmental factors. That’s why they talk to members about factors such as how easily they can access healthy foods and a safe location to exercise when working on diabetes management.

Tailoring our approach to each member’s living, social, and cultural environments is an evidence-based approach that helps to address health barriers and show our members that we understand their unique circumstances and care about them as individuals.  

Learn more about each of the Behavioral Science Pillars:

Pillar 1: Care for the Whole Person
Pillar 2: Consider the Context
Pillar 3: Promote Sustainable Motivation 
Pillar 4: Empower Self-Efficacy
Pillar 5: Support with Structure


Applied Behavior Change Science Team

Allison GrupskiDonovan

Envolve PeopleCare’s Applied Behavior Change Science (ABS) team is comprised of Allison Grupski, PhD, Allison Rose, MHS, and Jimmy Donovan. Combined, the ABS team brings a wealth of experience in behavior change, clinical psychology, weight management, health promotion and health disparities research, healthcare operations and communications. The ABS team is responsible for maintaining Envolve PeopleCare’s Behavioral Science Approach to ensure that our products and services are rooted in behavioral science and promote positive, sustainable health behavior change. 

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