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

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. ISSN 1359-107X.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access
Uncontrolled Keywords: Behaviour change, Taxonomy, Theoretical domains framework, behaviour change technique, domains, health, theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: James Cane
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 11:46
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2018 14:14

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00