About the Tool

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What is the Theory & Techniques Tool?

The Theory & Techniques tool is a heat map of 74 BCTs and 26 mechanisms-of-action (MoAs) resulting in 1924 cells. Each cell represents the link between a BCT and an MoA, with stronger links represented in green. The strength of a link is determined by the triangulation of data from two studies, a literature synthesis study and an expert consensus study. Within each BCT-MoA cell, you will find the results of the literature, consensus and triangulation studies. By clicking on a cell, you will find the data from all contributing studies. Information about the methods and results of the triangulation study are available here.

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Literature Synthesis Study

Data about the links authors made between BCTs and MoAs were extracted from behaviour change intervention articles. From 277 articles, a total of 2636 BCT-MoA links were identified, including 70 BCTs and 25 MoAs. Of these, 87 links between 51 BCTs and 24 MoAs occurred more often than would have occurred by chance due to the overall frequency of BCTs and MoAs (i.e. p < .05).

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Literature synthesis - books with a cursor
expert consensus - hands shaking

Expert Consensus Study

One hundred and five international behaviour change experts participated in three consensus stages, rating, discussing and re-rating links between 61 commonly used BCTs and 26 MoAs. Experts reached consensus, i.e., at least 80% agreed, that 90 of the possible 1586 links were ‘definitely’ linked, including 51 BCTs and 20 MoAs.

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Triangulation Study

Two methods were used: (a) statistically assessing the concordance between the two studies and (b) a consensus exercise of 16 behaviour change experts to reconcile discrepancies between the two sources of evidence. The concordance between the data found in the literature synthesis study and the expert consensus study was examined and identified BCT-MoA links for which there was: (i) agreement about presence (N=37) and absence of links (N=460), (ii) marginal or inconsistent evidence and (iii) a lack of evidence. Marginal and inconsistent links were considered in a reconciliation consensus study, resulting in an additional 55 agreed links and 5 non-links.

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Triangulation - triangle chaped icon