The Importance of Language in Behavior Change

Sajeevika S. Daundasekara, Katherine R. Arlinghaus, Craig A. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Communication between health care providers and patients is important for behavioral treatment in lifestyle medicine. Ineffective communication can lead to patient dissatisfaction, demotivation, and discontinuation of treatment. It is important for health care providers to understand their biases, praise patients’ behaviors rather than health outcomes, and use language to prevent dichotomous thinking. These strategies may lead to sustained lifestyle behavior changes and better treatment outcomes among patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • behavior change
  • bias
  • communication
  • dichotomous thinking
  • stigma


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