Heather Gainforth

Associate Professor

School of Health and Exercise Sciences
Office: Art 129
Phone: 250.807.9352
Email: heather.gainforth@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Gainforth's research aims to close the gap between health behaviour change research and practice by examining knowledge translation – the act of moving research evidence into the hands of research users.

Courses & Teaching

Dr. Gainforth teaches HMKN 499 (Projects in Human Kinetics) and HMKN 421 (Advanced Theories of Health Behaviour Change).


Dr. Gainforth’s academic training in Health Promotion, Knowledge Translation and Kinesiology has fostered her belief that evidence-based health promotion interventions and guidelines must be widely disseminated both in general and special  populations.  Her research aims to close the gap between health behaviour change research and practice by examining knowledge translation – the act of moving research evidence into the hands of research users. Her emerging research program aims to identify, develop and implement novel strategies for disseminating evidence-based health information and interventions to populations.  Her systems-based research is grounded in behaviour change theory and techniques and is guided by strong collaborations between researchers and communities.




Postdoctoral Fellow, University College London
Doctorate of Philosophy, Health Promotion, Queen’s University
Master of Science, Health Promotion, Queen’s University
Bachelor of Science Kinesiology, Honours, McMaster University

Research Interests & Projects


The Applied Behaviour Change (ABC) Lab aims to close the gap between health promotion research and practice by examining knowledge translation – the act of moving research evidence into the hands of research users.  Specifically, Dr. Gainforth’s research program aims to:

  1. Understand the process of knowledge translation
  2. Develop, implement and evaluate knowledge translation and health promotion interventions
  3. Examine social and psychological influences that foster behaviour change

Ongoing projects in the ABC Lab are entitled:

  1. Understanding the development and implementation of knowledge translation interventions in community and health care settings
  2. Investigating the effective application of behaviour change techniques by health behaviour change counsellors using state space grids


Please note: fraudulent emails are circulating advertising positions within the Applied Behavior Change Lab. Please take caution, and check validity by going to the UBC hiring page: https://hr.ubc.ca/careers-and-job-postings .

Selected Publications & Presentations


Michie, S., Campbell, R., West, R., Brown, J., Gainforth, H. L. (2014). ABC of Behaviour Change Theories. Great Britain: Silverback Publishing.

Selected Journal Articles

Gainforth, H. L., Jarvis, J., Berry, T., Chulak-Bozzer, T., Deshpande, S., Faulkner, G., Rhodes, R., Spence, J. C., Tremblay, M., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2015). Evaluating the ParticipACTION Think Again! Campaign. Health Education and Behaviour.

Gainforth, H. L., West, R., Michie, S. (2015). Assessing connections between behavior change theories using network analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Gainforth, H. L., Latimer-Cheung, A. E., Moore, S., Athanasopoulos, P., & Martin Ginis, K. A. (2014). Using Network Analysis to Understand Knowledge Mobilization in a Community-based Organization. International journal of behavioral medicine, 1-9.

Gainforth, H. L., Latimer-Cheung, A. E., Davis, C., Casemore, S. & Martin Ginis, K. A. (2014). Testing the Feasibility of Training Peers with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to Learn and Implement Brief Action Planning to Promote Physical Activity to People with SCI. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. DOI: 10.1179/2045772314Y.0000000239.

Gainforth, H. L., Latimer-Cheung, A. E., Athanasopoulos, P., Moore, S., & Martin Ginis, K. (2014).  The Role of Interpersonal Communication in the Process of Knowledge Mobilization within a Community-Based Organization: A Network Analysis. Implementation Science, 9 (1), 59. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-59.

Gainforth, H. L., Latimer-Cheung, A.E., Athanasopoulos, P., Martin Ginis, K.A. (2014). Examining the Feasibility & Effectiveness of a Community-Based Organization Implementing an Event-Based Knowledge Mobilization Initiative to Promote Physical Activity Guidelines for People with SCI Among Support Personnel. Health Promotion Practice. DOI: 10.1177/1524839914528210.

Gainforth, H. L., O’Malley, D., Mountenay, T., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2013). Independence and Physical Activity Status Moderate Stereotypes toward People with a Physical Disability. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11(3), 244-257. DOI:1080/1612197X.2013.749001.

Gainforth, H. L., Latimer-Cheung A. E., Athanasopoulos, P., Martin Ginis, K. (2013). Creating an Impact: Examining the Effectiveness of an Event-based Knowledge Mobilization Initiative for Disseminating the Physical Activity Guidelines for People with SCI. Disability & Health, 6(3), 260-265. DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2013.01.012.

Gainforth, H. L., Berry, T., Craig, C., Faulkner, G., Rhodes, R., Spence, J. C., Tremblay, M, & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2013).Evaluating the uptake of Canada’s new physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 3(2), 172-179.

Gainforth, H. L., Cao, W., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2012). Message framing and parents’ intentions to have their children vaccinated against HPV. Journal of Public Health Nursing, 6, 542-552. DOI: 1111/j.1525-1446.2012.01038.x.

Gainforth, H. L., Cao, W., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2012). Determinants of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Intent among Three Canadian Target Groups. Journal of Cancer Education, 4, 717-724. DOI: 1007/s13187-012-0389-1.

Gainforth, H. L., & Latimer, A. E. (2011). Risky Business: Risk Information and the Moderating Effect of Message Frame and Past Behavior on Women’s Perceptions of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine. Journal of Health Psychology, 6, 896-905. DOI: 0.1177/1359105311431173

Gainforth, H. L., Barg, C. J., Latimer, A. E., Schmid, K. L., O’Malley, D., & Salovey, P. (2011). An investigation of the theoretical content of physical activity brochures. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(6), 615-620. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.06.002



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