From lists of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to structured hierarchies: comparison of two methods of developing a hierarchy of BCTs

Journal article


Cane, J., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Ladha, R. and Michie, S. 2014. From lists of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to structured hierarchies: comparison of two methods of developing a hierarchy of BCTs. British Journal of Health Psychology. 20 (1), pp. 130-150. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12102
AuthorsCane, J., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Ladha, R. and Michie, S.
Abstract

Objectives Behaviour change technique (BCT) Taxonomy v1 is a hierarchically grouped, consensus-based taxonomy of 93 BCTs for reporting intervention content. To enhance the use and understanding of BCTs, the aims of the present study were to (1) quantitatively examine the ‘bottom-up’ hierarchical structure of Taxonomy v1, (2) identify whether BCTs can be reliably mapped to theoretical domains using a ‘top-down’ theoretically driven approach, and (3) identify any overlap between the ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ groupings. Methods and design The ‘bottom-up’ structure was examined for higher-order groupings using a dendrogram derived from hierarchical cluster analysis. For the theory-based ‘top-down’ structure, 18 experts sorted BCTs into 14 theoretical domains. Discriminant Content Validity was used to identify groupings, and chi-square tests and Pearson's residuals were used to examine the overlap between groupings. Results Behaviour change techniques relating to ‘Reward and Punishment’ and ‘Cues and Cue Responses’ were perceived as markedly different to other BCTs. Fifty-nine of the BCTs were reliably allocated to 12 of the 14 theoretical domains; 47 were significant and 12 were of borderline significance. Thirty-four of 208 ‘bottom-up’ × ‘top-down’ pairings showed greater overlap than expected by chance. However, only six combinations achieved satisfactory evidence of similarity. Conclusions The moderate overlap between the groupings indicates some tendency to implicitly conceptualize BCTs in terms of the same theoretical domains. Understanding the nature of the overlap will aid the conceptualization of BCTs in terms of theory and application. Further research into different methods of developing a hierarchical taxonomic structure of BCTs for international, interdisciplinary work is now required. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? * Behaviour change interventions are effective in improving health care and health outcomes.

KeywordsBehaviour change, Taxonomy, Theoretical domains framework, behaviour change technique, domains, health, theory
Year2014
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Journal citation20 (1), pp. 130-150
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
ISSN1359-107X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12102
FunderMedical Research Council Health Service Research Collaboration. Grant Number: G0901474
Publication dates
Print12 May 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Mar 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Additional information

Open Access

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