Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 225–234

Which Behaviour Change Techniques Are Most Effective at Increasing Older Adults’ Self-Efficacy and Physical Activity Behaviour? A Systematic Review


    • Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, School of Psychological SciencesUniversity of Manchester
  • Ellinor K Olander
    • School of Health SciencesCity University London
  • Anna Chisholm
    • Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, Institute of Inflammation and RepairUniversity of Manchester
  • Jennifer Mc Sharry
    • Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, School of Psychological SciencesUniversity of Manchester
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-014-9593-z

Cite this article as:
French, D.P., Olander, E.K., Chisholm, A. et al. ann. behav. med. (2014) 48: 225. doi:10.1007/s12160-014-9593-z



Increasing self-efficacy is an effective mechanism for increasing physical activity, especially for older people.


The aim of this review was to identify behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that increase self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour in non-clinical community-dwelling adults 60 years or over.


A systematic search identified 24 eligible studies reporting change in self-efficacy for physical activity following an intervention. Moderator analyses examined whether the inclusion of specific BCTs (as defined by CALO-RE taxonomy) was associated with changes in self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour.


Overall, interventions increased self-efficacy (d = 0.37) and physical activity (d = 0.14). Self-regulatory techniques such as setting behavioural goals, prompting self-monitoring of behaviour, planning for relapses, providing normative information and providing feedback on performance were associated with lower levels of both self-efficacy and physical activity.


Many commonly used self-regulation intervention techniques that are effective for younger adults may not be effective for older adults.


Self-efficacyPhysical activitySystematic reviewOlder adultsBehaviour change techniquesMeta-analysis

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014