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Syneos Health Introduces New Book, Why We Resist: The Surprising Truths About Motivating Behavior Change

Syneos Health Behavioral Scientist and Expert Communicator Team Up to Author Behavioral Insights Book – Proceeds Donated to The STARR Coalition

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – September 30, 2019 – Syneos Health® (Nasdaq:SYNH), the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization, today announced the launch of Why We Resist: The Surprising Truths About Motivating Behavior Change. Leveraging collective knowledge across the clinical to commercial continuum, Why We Resist translates the complex field of behavioral science into actionable insights and tools to enable healthcare brands to optimize patient reach and engagement. 

Authored by Syneos Health experts, Kathleen Starr, PhD, Managing Director of Behavioral Science, and Leigh Householder, Managing Director, Innovation, Syneos Health Communications, the book examines decades of research ranging from the latest experiments to proven truths that reveal why people resist healthcare change and how to move from resistance to action.

“Motivating people to engage in their health experience starts far before doctor-prescribed therapies – it starts as early as clinical trial design and participation. At Syneos Health, we build behavioral insights into our end-to-end model to address modern patient realities,” commented Alistair Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer, Syneos Health. “Gleaning insights at every moment of the healthcare journey enables us to better inform product development and commercialization to improve patient outcomes and brand performance.”

Why We Resist is part behavioral science guidebook and part practical workbook, revealing how insights can activate change among patient segments to improve development, commercialization and adherence solutions. The book debuts to a live audience at the 16th Annual Patient Summit USA, October 2-3, focusing on two distinct behavioral and communications constructs:

Nine Principles of Influence

Authors explore Nine Principles of Influence representing the core truths all people have in common. These truths can act as barriers to resist change, yet also have the power to activate change. For each principle, the book details how to move from resistance to activation.

“No matter how compelling the science or how clear the benefit, communications that aren’t grounded in people’s hopes and motivations won’t promote real behavior change,”
said Starr. “Incorporating the Nine Principles of Influence into program design enables healthcare stakeholders to identify compelling strategies that spark action.”

Behavioral Science-Based Segmenting

The authors further expand on the Nine Principles by creating custom behavioral solutions designed for diverse audience segments, sharing well-researched personas that evaluate how people look at the world, process information and respond to change. Better understanding these personas allows for the creation of personalized campaigns that keep audiences motivated as they move from awareness to interest, commitment to action, and into resilience.

“In an era of omni-channel communications, we can further segment communications and experiences to get closer to each individual’s source of identity and motivation,” said Householder. “Marrying behavioral science with segmentation allows for the identification of critical conversations and customized pathways, delivering motivating experiences and just-in-time nudges to help people realize the healthcare change they want for themselves.”

Access the Book and Learn More

  • Read an excerpt of the book.
  • Buy the book: Available on Amazon. Syneos Health is donating book proceeds to The STARR Coalition, a charity committed to creating meaningful change in the areas of treatment, advocacy and clinical research with an emphasis on consumer and patient mental health and well-being.
  • Hear from the authors: Listen to the latest episode of the Syneos Health podcast or join Kathleen Starr on October 2 at Patient Summit USA in Philadelphia for a keynote address (9:40 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.) and book workshop (2:25 p.m. - 3:35 p.m.).
  • Learn more about our behavioral insights solutions: To translate behavioral science into action, Syneos Health offers custom programs and Why We Resist workshops, led by behavioral scientists, providing in-depth perspectives on Principles of Influence and strategies designed to speed brand performance. 

About Syneos Health

Syneos Health® (Nasdaq:SYNH) is the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization. Our company, including a Contract Research Organization (CRO) and Contract Commercial Organization (CCO), is purpose-built to accelerate customer performance to address modern market realities. Created through the merger of two industry-leading companies – INC Research and inVentiv Health – we bring together approximately 24,000 clinical and commercial minds with the ability to support customers in more than 110 countries. Together we share insights, use the latest technologies and apply advanced business practices to speed our customers’ delivery of important therapies to patients. To learn more about how we are shortening the distance from lab to life®, visit or subscribe to our podcast.

About the Authors,

Kathleen R. Starr, PhD

Kathleen has been a professor, a clinician, a business leader and now a leading voice for how behavioral science can fuel more powerful, effective healthcare communications and education. Kathleen has developed behavioral interventions with some of the leading brands in healthcare and is working to innovate omni-channel communications programs leveraging behavioral segmentation. She’s learned about people one-on-one as a practicing psychologist and now scales that knowledge through research and ethnography programs that seek to understand the everyday challenges, barriers and joys of life and health.

Leigh Householder

Leigh began her career creating digital, social and loyalty strategies for Fortune 100 brands.  Ten years ago, she made the move to healthcare and never looked back. Leigh was a strategic lead on one of medicine’s biggest launches and has been an important partner to brands working to improve the lives of people fighting both chronic and acute diseases. Today, as part of her innovation work, she interviews and engages people who work on the frontlines of healthcare around the world to both understand and prioritize the shifts facing the industry and the world.

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Last Updated: 01-Oct-2019