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The Behaviour Change Technique Ontology: Transforming the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1

Marques, Marta M; Wright, Alison J; Corker, Elizabeth; Johnston, Marie; West, Robert; Hastings, Janna; Zhang, Lisa; (2023) The Behaviour Change Technique Ontology: Transforming the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1. Wellcome Open Research , 8 , Article 308. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.19363.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1) specifies the potentially active content of behaviour change interventions. Evaluation of BCTTv1 showed the need to extend it into a formal ontology, improve its labels and definitions, add BCTs and subdivide existing BCTs. We aimed to develop a Behaviour Change Technique Ontology (BCTO) that would meet these needs. Methods: The BCTO was developed by: (1) collating and synthesising feedback from multiple sources; (2) extracting information from published studies and classification systems; (3) multiple iterations of reviewing and refining entities, and their labels, definitions and relationships; (4) refining the ontology via expert stakeholder review of its comprehensiveness and clarity; (5) testing whether researchers could reliably apply the ontology to identify BCTs in intervention reports; and (6) making it available online and creating a machinereadable version. Results: Initially there were 282 proposed changes to BCTTv1. Following first-round review, 19 BCTs were split into two or more BCTs, 27 new BCTs were added and 26 BCTs were moved into a different group, giving 161 BCTs hierarchically organised into 12 logically defined higher-level groups in up to five hierarchical levels. Following expert stakeholder review, the refined ontology had 247 BCTs hierarchically organised into 20 higher-level groups. Independent annotations of intervention evaluation reports by researchers familiar and unfamiliar with the ontology resulted in good levels of inter-rater reliability (0.82 and 0.79, respectively). Following revision informed by this exercise, 34 BCTs were added, resulting in a final version of the BCTO containing 281 BCTs organised into 20 higher-level groups over five hierarchical levels. Discussion: The BCT Ontology provides a standard terminology and comprehensive classification system for the content of behaviour change interventions that can be reliably used to describe interventions.

Type: Article
Title: The Behaviour Change Technique Ontology: Transforming the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.19363.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.19363.1
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Behaviour change techniques, ontology, user feedback, intervention reporting
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10176196
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