Identification of behaviour change techniques to reduce excessive alcohol consumption
Article first published online: 17 APR 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 8, pages 1431–1440, August 2012
How to Cite
Michie, S., Whittington, C., Hamoudi, Z., Zarnani, F., Tober, G. and West, R. (2012), Identification of behaviour change techniques to reduce excessive alcohol consumption. Addiction, 107: 1431–1440. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03845.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 16 FEB 2012 01:25PM EST
- Submitted 27 July 2011; initial review completed 19 October 2011; final version accepted 10 February 2012
- behaviour change techniques;
- brief intervention;
Background Interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption have a small but important effect, but a better understanding is needed of their ‘active ingredients’.
Aims This study aimed to (i) develop a reliable taxonomy of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) used in interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption (not to treat alcohol dependence) and (ii) to assess whether use of specific BCTs in brief interventions might be associated with improved effectiveness.
Methods A selection of guidance documents and treatment manuals, identified via expert consultation, were analysed into BCTs by two coders. The resulting taxonomy of BCTs was applied to the Cochrane Review of brief alcohol interventions, and the associations between the BCTs and effectiveness were investigated using meta-regression.
Findings Forty-two BCTs were identified, 34 from guidance documents and an additional eight from treatment manuals, with average inter-rater agreement of 80%. Analyses revealed that brief interventions that included the BCT ‘prompt self-recording’ (P = 0.002) were associated with larger effect sizes.
Conclusions It is possible to identify specific behaviour change techniques reliably in manuals and guidelines for interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption. In brief interventions, promoting self-monitoring is associated with improved outcomes. More research is needed to identify other behaviour change techniques or groupings of behaviour change techniques that can produce optimal results in brief interventions and to extend the method to more intensive interventions and treatment of alcohol dependence.