Multiple risk factors and multiple risk factor interventions – what do we know?

This project is led by Dr Amanda Sowden, Deputy Director of the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) at the University of York.

Modifiable risk behaviours such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, inactivity and poor nutrition contribute significantly to the global burden of disease. Promoting the uptake of healthy lifestyles is central to England’s public health strategy, which to date has largely been pursued through targeting individual risk behaviours. There is evidence to suggest that the majority of adults in England engage in multiple risk behaviours at the same time and that the clustering of unhealthy behaviours is socially patterned.

This project aims to support public health policies to improve health by investigating multiple risk behaviours (risk clusters), predictors of risk clusters, interventions and intervention context for reducing risk behaviours and experiences of making lifestyle changes. The project will use systematic review methods to identify, appraise and synthesise existing research evidence. The findings from the individual systematic reviews will be brought together in an overall comparative synthesis, allowing key policy questions to be answered.

Link to PHRC:


Funder(s): Public Health Research Consortium (Department of Health) 
Start Date: September 2011
Expiry Date: August 2014


Internal Staff

External Collaborators

  • Mark Petticrew
  • Chris Power
  • Martin White