Table 1.

Promising behaviour change techniques

Behaviour change techniqueExampleInterventions, nControls, na
Action planningAgreeing to eat three light meals a day, with at least one hot meal. Action planning needs to include thought about when, where, and how the behaviour will take place230
Goal setting (outcome)Goals generally need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound (SMART), and the result of shared decisions. For example, getting to the shops and home without assistance210
Social support (unspecified)Getting a ‘blue badge’ to allow the person to go to the shops alone212
Problem solvingWorking to identify the barriers preventing individuals from engaging in behaviours and identifying ‘enablers’. For example, not being able to get to a social group because of lack of transport; problem solving should address how they might access the group190
Information on health consequencesGeneral education: information about the benefits of drinking enough water (hydration), or the negative effects of consumption of sugary foods if they have diabetes196
Credible sourceUsing information from a well-known and respected source, for example, British Heart Foundation chair-based exercises154
Pharmacological supportUsing pharmacological support, including appetite stimulation, to improve the appetite in patients with weight loss144
Instructions on how to perform a behaviourAdvising how to use online services from the local council131
Verbal persuasion about capabilityFocusing on an individual’s abilities and assets, and providing verbal encouragement120
Review outcome goalsChecking if goals have been achieved, and exploring barriers to achievement90
BiofeedbackBreathing exercises and monitoring with spirometer40
  • a The control groups did not receive the intervention being trialled but in some cases did include BCTs as part of their ‘usual care’ or as a minor ‘add on’ to usual care. BCTs = behaviour change techniques.