Nutrition Counseling

NC: Social Learning Theory (2008)

Social Learning Theory

Social Cognitive Theory/Social Learning Theory - provides a framework for understanding, predicting, and changing behavior. The theory identifies a dynamic, reciprocal relationship between environment, the person, and behavior. The person can be both an agent for change and a responder to change. It emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling behaviors, attitudes and emotional reactions of others. Determinants of behavior include goals, outcome expectations and self-efficacy. Reinforcements increase or decrease the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated.

  • Intervention
    What is the evidence that nutrition counseling, based on social learning theory targeted to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors results in health or food behavior change in adults counseled in an outpatient or clinic setting?
    • Conclusion

      One RCT, a positive-quality study, evaluated the effect of six telephone-delivered counseling sessions targeting increased self-efficacy outcome expectancy (Social Learning Theory constructs) in 65 hyperlipidemic patients not adherent to their cholesterol-lowering diet. The intervention involved goal-setting, self-monitoring, self-reinforcement and verbal persuasion. The intervention group significantly reduced saturated fat and cholesterol intake and had significantly decreased LDL-cholesterol levels relative to the control group. There was no increase in perceived self-efficacy in the intervention group vs. the usual care group. Outcome expectancy significantly increased in the intervention group, but was not correlated to the improvements in dietary adherence or decreased LDL-cholesterol. Despite positive behavioral and clinical outcomes, researchers failed to show a specific relationship between self-efficacy or outcome expectancy and change in behavior.

    • Grade: III
      • Grade I means there is Good/Strong evidence supporting the statement;
      • Grade II is Fair;
      • Grade III is Limited/Weak;
      • Grade IV is Expert Opinion Only;
      • Grade V is Not Assignable.
      • High (A) means we are very confident that the true effect lies close to that of the estimate of the effect;
      • Moderate (B) means we are moderately confident in the effect estimate;
      • Low (C) means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited;
      • Very Low (D) means we have very little confidence in the effect estimate.
      • Ungraded means a grade is not assignable.
    • Evidence Summary: Social Learning Theory and CVD
    • Search Plan and Results: NC: Counseling Theories 2007
    What is the evidence that nutrition counseling based on social learning theory for diabetes management results in health or food behavior change in adults counseled in an outpatient or clinic setting?