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Identifying behaviour change techniques in an intervention

Interventions to change behaviour are usually complex, involving several components.

This makes them challenging to replicate and to implement in practice.

Social Scientists have developed a taxonomy of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs) to enable identification of the active, and effective components within an intervention.

The checklist adds detail to the three questions in the model for improvement.

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • How will we know that a change is an improvement?
  • What changes can we make that will result in an improvement?

We will show you how you can use the checklist to identify the BCTs in a published intervention by Weinberg “Reducing Infections Among Women Undergoing Cesarean Section”. You can then use the same checklist to improve the design and reporting of your intervention.

In “downloads” at the bottom of the page is the set of three PDF checklists for you to use:

  • Checklist 1: matches the Model for Improvement and the BCTs with notes explaining each domain so you can see what you should be looking for when reviewing other interventions.

  • Checklist 2: has been completed by Professor Davey after reviewing the Weinberg paper. Note that some key information is missing, particularly under “Feedback/Delivery”. Look at this once you have read the Weinberg paper.

  • Checklist 3: use this for your intervention to ensure that you have covered all areas to optimise improvement.

Reports of interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing to hospital inpatients lack important detail about the BCTs that were used. This makes it hard for others to reproduce the intervention and to understand which BCTs may have been more or less important.

Now read a paper by Weinberg “Reducing Infections Among Women Undergoing Cesarean Section”. (The paper is also available as a PDF from the downloads below)

As you read the article consider the following questions:

  • What was the study goal? Was there an explicit “how good by when” target for the goal?
  • Can you find evidence about self-monitoring in the paper?
  • Can you find the higher order goal for this intervention?
  • Was the feedback delivered more than once?
  • Can you find evidence of action planning if the goal was not being achieved?

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This article is from the free online course:

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

University of Dundee

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