Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

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    Applying the behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy v1: a study of coder training
    Wood, CE ; Richardson, M ; Johnston, M ; Abraham, C ; Francis, J ; Hardeman, W ; Michie, S (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2015-06-01)
    Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1) has been used to detect active ingredients of interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of user training in improving reliable, valid and confident application of BCTTv1 to code BCTs in intervention descriptions. One hundred sixty-one trainees (109 in workshops and 52 in group tutorials) were trained to code frequent BCTs. The following measures were taken before and after training: (i) inter-coder agreement, (ii) trainee agreement with expert consensus, (iii) confidence ratings and (iv) coding competence. Coding was assessed for 12 BCTs (workshops) and for 17 BCTs (tutorials). Trainees completed a course evaluation. Methods improved agreement with expert consensus (p < .05) but not inter-coder agreement (p = .08, p = .57, respectively) and increased confidence for BCTs assessed (both p < .05). Methods were as effective as one another at improving coding competence (p = .55). Training was evaluated positively. The training improved agreement with expert consensus, confidence for BCTs assessed, coding competence but not inter-coder agreement. This varied according to BCT.
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    Strengthening evaluation and implementation by specifying components of behaviour change interventions: a study protocol
    Michie, S ; Abraham, C ; Eccles, MP ; Francis, JJ ; Hardeman, W ; Johnston, M (BMC, 2011-02-07)
    BACKGROUND: The importance of behaviour change in improving health is illustrated by the increasing investment by funding bodies in the development and evaluation of complex interventions to change population, patient, and practitioner behaviours. The development of effective interventions is hampered by the absence of a nomenclature to specify and report their content. This limits the possibility of replicating effective interventions, synthesising evidence, and understanding the causal mechanisms underlying behaviour change. In contrast, biomedical interventions are precisely specified (e.g., the pharmacological 'ingredients' of prescribed drugs, their dose and frequency of administration). For most complex interventions, the precise 'ingredients' are unknown; descriptions (e.g., 'behavioural counseling') can mean different things to different researchers or implementers. The lack of a method for specifying complex interventions undermines the precision of evidence syntheses of effectiveness, posing a problem for secondary, as well as primary, research.We aim to develop a reliable method of specifying intervention components ('techniques') aimed at changing behaviour. METHODS/DESIGN: The research will be conducted in three phases. The first phase will develop the nomenclature. We will refine a preliminary list of techniques and definitions. Using a formal consensus method, experts will then define the key attributes of each technique and how it relates to, and differs from, others. They will evaluate the techniques and their definitions until they achieve an agreed-upon list of clearly defined, nonredundant techniques. The second phase will test the nomenclature. Trained experts (primary researchers and systematic reviewers), equipped with a coding manual and guidance, will use the nomenclature to code published descriptions of complex interventions. Reliability between experts, over time, and across types of users will be assessed. We will assess whether using the nomenclature to write intervention descriptions enhances the clarity and replicability of interventions. The third phase will develop a web-based users' resource of clearly specified and nonredundant techniques, which will aid the scientific understanding of, and development of, effective complex interventions. Dissemination throughout the project will be through stakeholder meetings, targeted multidisciplinary workshops, conference presentation, journal publication, and publication in an interactive web-based platform (a Wiki). DISCUSSION: The development of a reliable method of specifying intervention components aimed at changing behaviour will strengthen the scientific basis for developing, evaluating, and reporting complex interventions. It will improve the precision of evidence syntheses of effectiveness, thus enhancing secondary, as well as primary, research.
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    Reporting behaviour change interventions: do the behaviour change technique taxonomy v1, and training in its use, improve the quality of intervention descriptions?
    Wood, CE ; Hardeman, W ; Johnston, M ; Francis, J ; Abraham, C ; Michie, S (BMC, 2016-06-07)
    BACKGROUND: Behaviour change interventions are likely to be reproducible only if reported clearly. We assessed whether the behaviour change technique taxonomy version 1 (BCTTv1), with and without training in identifying BCTs, improves the clarity and replicability of written reports of observed behaviour change interventions. METHODS: Three studies assessed effects of using and training in the use of BCTTv1 on the clarity and replicability of intervention descriptions written after observing videos of smoking cessation interventions. Study 1 examined the effects of using and not using BCTTv1. Study 2 examined the effects of using BCTTv1 and training in use of BCTTv1 compared no use and no training. Study 3 employed a within-group design to assess change in descriptions written before and after training. One-hundred and 66 'writers' watched videos of behaviour change interventions and wrote descriptions of the active components delivered. In all studies, the participants' written descriptions were evaluated by (i) 12 'raters' (untrained in BCTTv1) for clarity and replicability and (ii) 12 'coders' (trained in BCTTv1) for reliability of BCT coding. Writers rated the usability and accessibility of using BCTTv1 to write descriptions. RESULTS: Ratings of clarity and replicability did not differ between groups in study 1 (all ps > 0.05), were poorer for trained users in study 2 (all ps < 0.01) and improved following training in study 3 (all ps < 0.05). BCT identification was more reliable from descriptions written by trained BCTTv1 users (p < 0.05; study 2) but not simple use of BCTTv1 (p = 0.93; study 1) or by writers who had written a description without BCTTv1, before training (p = 0.50; study 3). Writers reported that using BCTTv1 was difficult but 'useful', 'good' and 'desirable' and that their descriptions would be clear and replicable (all means above mid-point of the scale). CONCLUSIONS: Effects of training to use BCTTv1 on the quality of written reports of observed interventions were mixed, with some suggestion of improved clarity and replicability of reporting in the within- (study 3) but not the between-group studies (studies 1 and 2). Potential benefits of using BCTTv1 may have been limited by the artificial nature and time constraints of the task.