Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 81–95 | Cite as

The Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy (v1) of 93 Hierarchically Clustered Techniques: Building an International Consensus for the Reporting of Behavior Change Interventions

  • Susan MichieEmail author
  • Michelle Richardson
  • Marie Johnston
  • Charles Abraham
  • Jill Francis
  • Wendy Hardeman
  • Martin P. Eccles
  • James Cane
  • Caroline E. Wood
Original Article



CONSORT guidelines call for precise reporting of behavior change interventions: we need rigorous methods of characterizing active content of interventions with precision and specificity.


The objective of this study is to develop an extensive, consensually agreed hierarchically structured taxonomy of techniques [behavior change techniques (BCTs)] used in behavior change interventions.


In a Delphi-type exercise, 14 experts rated labels and definitions of 124 BCTs from six published classification systems. Another 18 experts grouped BCTs according to similarity of active ingredients in an open-sort task. Inter-rater agreement amongst six researchers coding 85 intervention descriptions by BCTs was assessed.


This resulted in 93 BCTs clustered into 16 groups. Of the 26 BCTs occurring at least five times, 23 had adjusted kappas of 0.60 or above.


“BCT taxonomy v1,” an extensive taxonomy of 93 consensually agreed, distinct BCTs, offers a step change as a method for specifying interventions, but we anticipate further development and evaluation based on international, interdisciplinary consensus.


Behavior change techniques Taxonomy Behavior change interventions 



The present work carried out as part of the BCT Taxonomy project was funded by the Medical Research Council. We are grateful to the very helpful input from Felicity Roberts, Members of the BCT Taxonomy project International Advisory Board (IAB), and expert coders.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

12160_2013_9486_MOESM1_ESM.docx (76 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 76.0 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Michie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michelle Richardson
    • 2
  • Marie Johnston
    • 1
    • 3
  • Charles Abraham
    • 2
  • Jill Francis
    • 4
  • Wendy Hardeman
    • 5
  • Martin P. Eccles
    • 6
  • James Cane
    • 7
  • Caroline E. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Outcomes Research Effectiveness, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.University of Exeter Medical SchoolExeterUK
  3. 3.Aberdeen Health Psychology GroupUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  4. 4.Division of Health Services Research & ManagementCity University LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Behavioural Science Group, The Primary Care UnitUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  6. 6.Institute of Health and SocietyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  7. 7.School of PsychologyUniversity of KentKentUK

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