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

Abstract

Background

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

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

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Acknowledgments

This review was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and University of Manchester School of Psychological Sciences start-up funds. We are grateful to Lou Atkinson, Stefanie Williams and Helen Fletcher for coding intervention descriptions.

Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards

Authors French, Olander, Chisholm, and Mc Sharry declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

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French, D.P., Olander, E.K., Chisholm, A. et al. Which Behaviour Change Techniques Are Most Effective at Increasing Older Adults’ Self-Efficacy and Physical Activity Behaviour? A Systematic Review. ann. behav. med. 48, 225–234 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-014-9593-z

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Keywords

  • Self-efficacy
  • Physical activity
  • Systematic review
  • Older adults
  • Behaviour change techniques
  • Meta-analysis